Who: Nigeria vs Ivory Coast
What: CAF AFCON 2023 ultimate
When: Sunday, February 11, 2024, 20:00 GMT
The place: Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro has sought to minimize his aspect’s tag as favourites for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations crown whereas speaking up his misfiring African footballer of the yr Victor Osimhen.
The Tremendous Eagles face the hosts, Ivory Coast, who they beat 1-0 within the group stage within the ultimate on the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan on Sunday.
The Elephants have been practically eradicated on the first hurdle having additionally misplaced to Equatorial Guinea within the ultimate group-stage match, and parted firm with their supervisor Jean-Louis Gasset whereas they awaited clarification as to whether or not they would progress as one of many 4 finest third-placed finishers.
“There is no such thing as a favorite for the ultimate,” insisted the Portuguese coach. “Both sides has a 50 p.c likelihood, however we’re decided to win this ultimate.”
Osimhen, meantime, has beforehand obtained reward from his coach for his work fee and performances on the event.
The Napoli striker earned his aspect a degree in Nigeria’s opening match towards Equatorial Guinea however has but to seek out the online once more.
“He doesn’t play like he’s the star. He fights for the group and is totally unselfish,” stated Peseiro.
“He is aware of he is a vital participant and he provides us the perfect vitality. He has suffered quite a bit on this event with all the eye he receives from the opposing defenders as a result of he is aware of it’s a group sport.”
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— CAF (@CAF_Online) February 8, 2024
Ivory Coast’s interim coach Emerse Fae was not his nation’s first alternative to interchange the outgoing Gasset but now he leads his nation within the ultimate.
Now Fae can now be a part of an elite checklist of Africa Cup of Nations-winning managers simply weeks after taking cost of a senior match for the primary time.
It will be a rare achievement for the 40-year-old French-born former Ivorian worldwide, who performed for his nation within the 2006 ultimate – albeit on the dropping aspect.
He had been assistant to Gasset during the last 18 months so was effectively versed in what occurred and what wanted to be achieved.
“We had troublesome days emotionally and mentally and we got here by means of the again door,” admitted Fae. “Dropping 4-0 at house was horrible, after which afterwards we needed to wait. Truthfully, it was very troublesome to work, to heal the injuries whereas crossing your fingers.”
Fae made a number of key modifications and the Ivorians confirmed spectacular psychological fortitude in overcoming holders Senegal within the final 16 and neighbours Mali within the quarterfinal, coming from behind in each matches.
Their semifinal victory over the Democratic Republic of the Congo continued the comeback. Native press have dubbed Fae the “Particular One”.
“No, no, no, that’s not true,” he replied on Saturday when requested concerning the tag first used for Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho.
“It has been a collective to get us all right here.”
Nigeria’s gamers to look at
The African footballer of the yr has but to seek out his goalscoring contact at this event however has received reward from his coach for his work fee and performances.
The previous Everton ahead scored all three objectives his aspect managed within the spherical of 16 and quarterfinal wins towards Cameroon and Angola. The place Osimhen is drawing the eye of quite a few opposition gamers each out and in of possession, it has created openings for others which Lookman has absolutely taken benefit of.
The captain has been a frontrunner in each sense for his aspect. The rock of the aspect’s defence, which has solely conceded two objectives on the event, Troost-Ekong has additionally scored two penalties, together with one towards Ivory Coast within the group, in regular time and netted within the shootout win towards South Africa.
— William Troost-Ekong (@WTroostEkong) February 7, 2024
Ivory Coast’s gamers to look at
The Borussia Dortmund striker was solely match sufficient to begin for the primary time within the event towards DRC within the semifinal. It was his objective, albeit considerably of a miss-kick, that despatched the Elephants to the ultimate. As a lot as an Ivorian win can be an unbelievable redemption at this version, it might additionally mark a exceptional comeback for Haller, who was identified with testicular most cancers in 2022.
The Brighton and Hove Albion winger is changing into one thing of a sensation on the event and is undoubtedly a fan favorite among the many host nation’s supporters. Each time the ball arrives at Adingra’s toes the extent of expectation and quantity contained in the venues carry. It was Adingra who netted the Ninetieth-minute equaliser towards Mali within the semifinal that took the tie to further time.
The midfielder signed for Al-Alhi within the Saudi Professional League final yr having been one of many hottest properties in European soccer for a while. The 27-year-old joined Serie A membership Atalanta as an adolescent earlier than being snapped up by Italian giants AC Milan in 2019. Barcelona introduced Kessie, who has been a driving drive within the centre of the park, to Spain in 2022 earlier than his transfer to Saudi Arabia.
Nigeria: W W W W W
Ivory Coast: L L W W W
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— CAF (@CAF_Online) February 7, 2024
Nigeria received: 4
Ivory Coast received: 6
Nigeria will hope there is no such thing as a repeat of the belly criticism that resulted in Osimhen having to journey a day later than the remainder of the squad for his or her semifinal.
Left-back Zaidu Sanusi missed the semifinal with South Africa resulting from a hamstring damage however can be given a late-fitness check within the run-up to the ultimate, having been a continuing previous to the assembly with Bafana Bafana.
Nigeria’s predicted beginning XI: Stanley Nwabali, Semi Ajayi, William Troost-Ekong, Calvin Bassey, Brilliant Osayi-Samuel, Frank Onyeka, Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina, Moses Simon, Victor Osimhen, Ademola Lookman.
Ivory Coast welcome again the suspended pairing of Odilon Kossounou and Oumar Diakire, each of whom have been despatched off within the quarterfinal win towards Mali. Kossounou was a starter in that sport and is predicted to return to the defence instead of Willy Bolly.
Ivory Coast’s predicted beginning XI: Yahia Fofana, Wilfried Singo, Odilon Kossounou, Evan Ndicka, Ghislain Konan, Frank Kessié, Jean-Michael Seri, Seko Fofana, Max Gradel, Sebastian Haller, Simon Adingra.