AFCON 2023: Ivory Coast vs Nigeria Preview, Predictions, and Possible Squad Lists

AFCON 2023: Ivory Coast vs Nigeria Preview, Predictions, and Possible Squad Lists

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Nigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
Napoli logoFNigeria logo
Seko Fofana logo
S. Fofana
Al-Ettifaq FC logoMIvory Coast logo
Alex Iwobi logo
A. Iwobi
Fulham logoFNigeria logo
AC Milan logoM-
Ghana Dream FC logo--
Ivory Coast logo
Cote DIvoire
Ivory Coast
  • The next group stage round of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations is here
  • Nigeria are on the hunt for their first win against hosts, Ivory Coast
  • Sports Brief looks at possible teams and possible outcomes of the tie

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) has unfolded in a manner only a few could have imagined so far.

A plethora of nations, previously deemed as favourites, have fallen in surprising fashion to so-called minnows on the African continent.

Nigeria's Super Eagles were not left out after an underwhelming draw against the Nzalang Nacional of Equatorial Guinea.

AFCON, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Super Eagles, CAF.
Nigeria's team gathers for a photograph before the Africa Cup of Nations group stage match against Equatorial Guinea. Image: Visionhaus.
Source: Getty Images

Jose Peseiro’s side are on the hunt for their first victory in AFCON 2023 and they will have to do it the hard way in what is shaping up to be the fixture of the tournament against host nation, Ivory Coast.

Jean-Louis Gasset’s side, on the other hand, had themselves the perfect opening fixture as they secured a commanding two-nil win against Guinea Bissau.

With the stage finally set and the game shaping up to be a truly pulsating encounter, Sports Brief takes a look at the preview and predictions ahead of this clash.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria - preview

Ivory Coast kicked off their AFCON campaign with a rousing victory at the Stade Alassane Ouattara in front of their fans. Al-Nassr star, Seko Fofana gave the hosts a dream start to the game as he curled home the opener inside the opening four minutes before forward, Jean-Philippe Krasso put the result beyond doubt with a 58th-minute effort.

Under Gasset's guidance, the Elephants are on an impressive unbeaten streak of seven games across all competitions, boasting four consecutive wins since a friendly draw against South Africa in October.

As they aim for their first Nations Cup crown since 2015 - and third overall - Ivory Coast looks to overcome a resilient Nigeria, a team that inflicted heartbreak on them in the 2013 edition.

The Super Eagles, on the other hand, hope to have their recent run of worrying and dismal results behind them with a statement victory against the host nation.

Peseiro’s side have not won any of their last five competitive fixtures, with their last victory dating back to the friendly victory against Mozambique in October 2023.

A win against the Elephants is sure to calm the storm of uncertainty and scepticism hovering around the camp of the Nigerian national team.

With the experience of veteran captain, Ahmed Musa, Nigeria will be hoping to repeat the feat they achieved in the 2013 edition of the tournament, where they sent Ivory Coast, led by Didier Drogba, packing from the tournament.

However, the West African giants face the crucial task of securing all three points to prevent their first group-stage exit since the 1982 edition of the AFCON. To achieve this, they must deliver a stellar performance to challenge the host nation's remarkable unbeaten record in 37 of their last 38 group-stage games.

Notably, Ivory Coast has maintained an impressive streak of 17 straight matches without defeat in the group stages since 2012, according to Opta Analyst. The Super Eagles must be at their absolute best to make an impact and disrupt this formidable record.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria - prediction

Nigeria boasts of a pool of talented superstars heralding the stages in Europe’s biggest stages. Barring Olorunleke Ojo and Stanley Nwabali, who ply their trade with African clubs Enyimba International and Chippa United respectively, every other player available to coach Peseiro ply their trade for elite European clubs.

Despite the injury to combative midfielder, Alhassan Yusuf, the three-time Cup of Nations champions will be counting on the ability of marquee forward and current Africa Footballer of the Year, Victor Osimhen, to help secure victory against the Elephants.

According to data courtesy of Whoscored, the Napoli star was involved in 31 goals in 39 club appearances through 2023. With the game again shaping up in the manner of the encounter that unfolded in 2013, a victory for the Super Eagles appears well on the card.

Ivory Coast's possible starting lineup

Yahia Fofana; Wilfred Singo, Evan Ndicka, Ousmane Diomande, Ghislain Konan, Wilfred Singo; Ibrahima Sangare, Franck Kessie, Seko Fofana; Jonathan Bamba, Jeremie Boga, Jean-Philippe Krasso.

Nigeria's possible starting lineup

Stanley Nwabali; Ola Aina, Semi Ajayi, William Troost-Ekong, Zaidu Sanusi; Frank Onyeka, Joe Aribo, Alex Iwobi; Moses Simon, Ademola Lookman, Victor Osimhen.

Where to watch the game

All AFCON 2023 matches will air on Sports Premium, channel 252 or 246, on StarTimes as well as on StarTimes-ON app.

Super Eagles legend makes AFCON prediction

Sports Brief also previously reported on former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Dosu Joseph making his AFCON prediction ahead of the kick-off in Ivory Coast.

The 50-year-old listed Nigeria as his favourites and believes that forward, Victor Osimhen, will claim prize as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).