The Super Eagles of Nigeria will battle the Elephants of Ivory Coast in group A of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) which is billed to commence on 13 January.
Nigeria and Ivory Coast have competitively met just once since 2013, but they've twice engaged in friendly bouts.
The head-to-head record in their last three matches reads 2 wins for Nigeria and 1 win for Ivory.
Traditionally, the Elephants are not one of the known Super Eagles rivals over the years as matches between them does not hit fans like when Nigeria plays the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon and the Black Stars of Ghana.
However, these two West African giants will slug it out competitively in the AFCON 2023 group stage.
Nigeria last played Ivory Coast in the 2013 edition of this competition where the Super Eagles defeated the Ivoriens 2-1 in a hard-fought quarter-finalist fixture in Rustenburg, South Africa.
At the time, the Elephants had an array of stars amongst their ranks; the likes of Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, Manchester City revered midfielder Yaya Toure, Solomon Kalou, Gervais Yao Kouassi (Gervinho) and many others.
On the other hand, Nigeria had AFCON top scorer Emmanuel Emenike, Ahmed Musa, Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and lots more.
These superstars raised the stakes in the quarter-final encounter, however, it was home-grown Super Eagles attacking midfielder Sunday Mba who stole the headlines after scoring for Nigeria 12 minutes from time to seal the win.
As both teams renew hostilities once more, it'll be interesting to see how these sides perform on the head-to-head log.
Let's delve into their AFCON performances over the years and see which of these footballing Nations has the most wins in the tournament.
Super Eagles AFCON trophy wins
Nigeria made their first appearance in this competition in 1963, the fourth edition of the AFCON which was hosted in Ghana.
It took 17 long years before the Eagles won their first AFCON trophy in 1980, and they did it in style on home soil, defeating Algeria 3-0 in the final.
Super Eagles went on to record their second AFCON success 14 years later after beating Zambia 2-1 in the 1994 finals in Tunisia.
Their longest wait for an AFCON trophy stood for 19 years when they got their third trophy in 2013 in South Africa from a solo Sunday Mba's goal in the final against Burkina Faso.
Nigeria have gone 10 years without winning the competition, and can fancy their chances in the next event with the array of attacking power in their possession.
Ivory Coast AFCON trophy wins
The Elephants made their debut in this competition in 1965, the fifth edition of the AFCON. It was hosted by Tunisia.
Interestingly, it took Ivory Coast 27 long years before they clinched their first trophy in 1992 in a penalty shootout win against Ghana which ended 11-10 following a goalless.
The Ivoriens will wait another 23 years before they snapped their second AFCON win in the 30th edition. Coincidentally, they did it again in like fashion against Ghana, winning 9-8 this time on penalties.
It has now been 8 years since they last won it, and it'll be great if they're able to record their third success on home soil.
Nigeria Super Eagles vs Ivory Coast AFCON records
|Total AFCON Apps
|Total AFCON matches
The table above shows that Nigeria have the edge over Ivory Coast in number of titles won and number of matches won.
The Super Eagles have won 3 AFCON titles, while Ivory Coast have won 2.
Nigeria has played a total of 97 matches in 20 AFCON appearances, and won 53 times. On the other hand, Ivory Coast have made 25 total appearances in the competition and won 44 matches out of 99 matches played.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago