Ivory Coast vs Nigeria prediction: 3 impact players to watch

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria prediction: 3 impact players to watch
Credit: Icon Sport

Let us guide you on the best Ivory Coast vs Nigeria prediction, and the 3 most impactful players to watch in the blockbuster Africa Cup of Nations Group A clash between these two giants of African football.

We'll also bring in both teams' head-to-head stats, probable lineups and where you can watch the game live in Nigeria.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will mark their toughest test yet at the 2023 AFCON as they square off against the hosts, Ivory Coast.

This highly anticipated game between Ivory Coast and Nigeria is scheduled for 18 January 2024, at 6 p.m. West African Time and will take place at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria match preview

Ivory Coast got their AFCON 2023 campaign with a convincing 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau last Saturday. A fourth minute goal from Seko Fofana and a 58th minute strike from Jean-Philippe Krasso gave the Elephants a much needed win against their opponents.

Ivory Coast players celebrate goal
Credit: Icon Sport

With qualification at stake later this evening, a win over Nigeria will ensure that Jean-Louis Gasset's side becomes the first team to seal their place in the round of 16.

Nigeria, meanwhile, came from behind after falling to an Iban Salvador's opener in the 36th minute mark to record a 1-1 draw from a Victor Osimhen‘s leveler just two minutes later. With so many chances coming the way of Nigeria, Jose Peseiro's men failed to make the most of them ensuring the points were shared. The Super Eagles will now fight to pick all three points against the Ivoriens and put themselves closer to a place in the knockouts.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria prediction

The Ivory Coast vs Nigeria heavyweight clash promises to be a cracker. While the hosts are the bookmaker's favourites to win, the safest prediction for this game is on both teams scoring with an emphasis on a strong attacking display cushioned by the array of attacking stars in the final third for both teams.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria head-to-head stats

  • Ivory Coast are unbeaten in their last eight games across all competitions (W5, D3).
  • Nigeria have been beaten once in their last eight matches ahead of their meeting with Ivory Coast (W3, D4, L1).
  • Recent head-to-head record between these two teams is closely matched, with one win apiece.
  • A win for Ivory Coast today will seal qualification for the Elephants while a loss for Nigeria could prove disastrous.

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria: 3 impact players to watch

This clash will witness a host of football stars on display with desire to play well and ensure their team wins. Amongst the good players that will take to the field today, these are the three who could prove very impactful.

Seko Fofana

Franck Kessie in action for Ivory Coast
Credit: Icon Sport

Fofana has been remarkable in midfield for Ivory Coast with his control and attacking contributions. He opened the scoring for the Elephants in their win over Guinea-Bissau and will be eager to add to his tally against Nigeria when presented with a scoring opportunity.

Franck Kessie

Franck Kessie was instrumental in their opening day win over Guinea-Bissau, dropping one assist in the process. Kessie is an experienced midfielder who has played for big teams in Europe. His partnership with Fofana down the middle of the pack will be crucial in Ivory Coast's quest for a win against the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

Victor Osimhen

Known for his athleticism and goal-scoring prowess, Osimhen can be the difference maker for the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the final third. With already one goal in this competition, the Napoli man will look to contribute much more for Nigeria as they take on the Elephants.

Victor Osimhen in action for Nigeria
Credit: Icon Sport

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria probable lineups

Ivory Coast

The Elephants will be without Sebastien Haller who is still suffering from an ankle injury. They'll also miss the services of Simon Adingra, but they still have the likes of Seko Fofana and Franck Kessie who are both known for their dynamic midfield presence.

Ivory Coast probable lineup (4-3-3): Fofana; Konan, Ndicka, Diomande, Singo; Sangare, Kessie, Seko Fofana; Bamba, Boga, Krasso.

Nigeria

Dynamic midfielder Alhassan Yusuf has been ruled out of this game, but the Super Eagles still have enough around the middle of the pack. They will rely heavily on Osimhen who can mastermind the team's chances of progressing into the next round.

Nigeria probable lineup (4-1-4-1): Nwabali; Sanusi, Bassey, Troost-Ekong, Aina; Onyeka; Lookman, Iwobi, Aribo, Chukwueze; Osimhen.

Nigeria Super Eagles players
Credit: Icon Sport

Where to watch Ivory Coast vs Nigeria AFCON clash today

Football fans in Nigeria will be able to watch the Super Eagles game with Ivory Coast on SuperSport Football on GOtv and DStv. They can also see the game live on NTA Sports channel.

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago

Joseph is a graduate engineer turned sports writer, he has covered lots of sports stories, match previews and predictions across various leagues on the planet.