As the second round of games at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations begin, we look to Thursday’s Group A clash with our Ivory Coast vs Nigeria prediction and preview.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria: Pre-Match Facts

  • According to the Opta supercomputer, Ivory Coast are slight favourites to record a second win in their home tournament, predicted to beat Nigeria in 40.7% of pre-match simulations.
  • After their 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau on the opening game, Ivory Coast are looking to win both of their opening two matches of a CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament for the first time since the 2013 edition.
  • After their 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria could fail to win their opening two AFCON games for the first time since 2013 (D2), which was also the last time the Super Eagles lifted the trophy.
  • Host nations have only lost one of their last 38 group stage games at the AFCON (W23 D14), and are unbeaten in their last 17 (W9 D8) since Equatorial Guinea lost 1-0 to Zambia as joint-hosts in 2012.
  • Nigeria have lost just one of their last 12 AFCON group stage games (W8 D3), with their 2-0 defeat to Madagascar in 2019 the only time they’ve failed to score in this run.
  • After their goals against Guinea-Bissau, either Seko Fofana or Jean-Philippe Krasso could become the first player to score in both of Ivory Coast’s first two matches of an Africa Cup of Nations tournament since Gervinho and Yaya Touré did so in 2013.
  • Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen scored his first goal at the Africa Cup of Nations last time out against Equatorial Guinea, he had six shots in the game, three times as many as any other player, while the last time a Nigerian player had more shots in a single group stage game in the competition was Peter Odemwingie (seven) against Mozambique in January 2010.
  • Ivory Coast’s Franck Kessié recorded his fourth AFCON assist against Guinea-Bassau. Only Egypt’s Mohamed Salah (also four) has as many assists in the competition since the Ivorian’s first appearance in 2017.

Match Preview

The tournament hosts are back in action in Group A of AFCON 2023 as the Ivory Coast take on Nigeria at Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara on Thursday.

The Elephants impressed in their opening game against Guinea-Bissau, with goals from Seko Fofana and Jean-Philippe Krasso handing them a 2-0 win.

Ivory Coast v Guinea-Bissau stats

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ivory Coast avoid defeat throughout the group stage, with host nations of AFCON only having lost once in their last 38 group-stage games (W23 D14). The last time the tournament hosts lost at this stage was when Equatorial Guinea were beaten 1-0 by Zambia as joint-hosts in 2012.

Jean-Louis Gasset’s side are looking to win their first two games of an AFCON since 2013, and take on Nigeria next, who were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by Equatorial Guinea in their first match.

Star striker Victor Osimhen equalised for the Super Eagles just 99 seconds after Iban Salvador had given Equatorial Guinea the lead, but despite recording an expected goals total of 3.52, José Peseiro’s men were unable to find a winner.

Osimhen had six shots, but finished the game with just a single goal to show for his efforts. The last time a Nigerian player had more shots in a single group stage game in the competition was Peter Odemwingie (seven) against Mozambique in January 2010.

Nigeria v Equatorial Guinea xG race

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria Head-to-Head

This will be Ivory Coast and Nigeria’s seventh meeting at the Africa Cup of Nations. As things stand, they can’t be separated. Of their six games for far, they have won two each and drawn two, scoring five goals each.

Their last AFCON meeting was in 2013. Nigeria won 2-1 in the quarter-finals and went on to lift the trophy.

The three previous meetings between Ivory Coast and Nigeria in the group stage of the tournament have produced only two goals (0-0 in 1980, 1-0 to Nigeria in 1990, 1-0 to Ivory Coast in 2008).

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria Prediction

Ivory Coast v Nigeria Opta predictor

According to the Opta supercomputer, it should be a close game but Ivory Coast are predicted to clinch their passage to the last 16 with a win in 40.7% of pre-match simulations. Nigeria grabbed their first victory of AFCON 2023 in 32.8% of those, while the draw occurred 27.5% of the time.

Understandably after being the only team in Group A to win their first game, the tournament hosts are heavily fancied to advance, doing so in 96.7% of simulations at the time of writing, and winning the group 63.6% of the time.

Below are both teams’ current, up-to-date chances of progression through AFCON 2023 according to the Opta supercomputer:

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria Squads

Ivory Coast: Charles Folly, Yahia Fofana, Badra Ali Sangaré, Evan Ndicka, Wilfried Singo, Ousmane Diomande, Ismaël Diallo, Sèrge Aurier, Odilon Kossounou, Ghislain Konan, Willy-Arnaud Boly, Seko Fofana, Jean Seri, Franck Kessié, Idrissa Doumbia, Ibrahim Sangaré, Lazare Amani, Max Gradel, Jérémie Boga, Simon Adingra, Oumar Diakité, Jean-Philippe Krasso, Sébastien Haller, Jonathan Bamba, Christian Kouamé, Nicolas Pépé, Karim Konaté. 

Coach: Jean-Louis Gasset

Nigeria: Olorunleke Ojo, Stanley Nwabali, Francis Uzoho, Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi, Chidozie Awaziem, Calvin Bassey, Bruno Onyemaechi, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Ola Aina, Zaidu Sanusi, Alhassan Yusuf, Raphael Onyedika, Joe Aribo, Frank Onyeka, Moses Simon, Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi, Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze, Terem Moffi, Ademola Lookman, Umar Sadiq. 

Coach: Jose Peseiro

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