Equatorial Guinea vs Ivory Coast Prediction: Knockout qualification on line in this survival of the fittest

Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea
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22 Jan 2024 20:00
Cote d'Ivoire
Cote d'Ivoire
Africa Cup of Nations
Equatorial Guinea vs Ivory Coast
Olympic Stadium of Ebimpé
22.01.2024, 20:00



Sola Oluwasegun
16 Jan 2024
17:36
Statistics of the month:
68
75
4
46.26%
Statistics
Odds
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Odds 1,80
Bet Type Ivory Coast to Win and BTTS No
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Equatorial Guinea vs Ivory Coast Prediction, Betting Tips & Odds │22 JANUARY, 2024

The host nation, Ivory Coast, is eager to sidestep another potential setback as they face the formidable Equatorial Guinea at the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpé on Monday. The Elephants endured a detrimental 1-0 defeat in their second Group A match against Nigeria, placing the home team in a precarious position. Now, they are set to confront the in-form Nzalang Nacional, who clinched an impressive victory over Guinea-Bissau in their second-round encounter.

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Equatorial Guinea's Saul Coco, Iban Salvador, and Pablo Ganet expressed their joy through celebration on January 26, 2022, following their successful penalty shoot-out. Nzalang Nacional is on the verge of securing qualification from the group, having achieved an exhilarating 4-2 triumph over Guinea-Bissau in their second game at AFCON 2023. The standout performer in this encounter was Emilio Nsue, the 34-year-old, who made history by becoming the first player at the continental showpiece to score three times in one game since Morocco's Soufiane Alloudi against Namibia in 2008.

With four points already garnered from two games, Juan Micha's team requires just a point from Monday's clash to guarantee a spot in the first knockout round. Maintaining an undefeated streak since their 4-0 loss to Tunisia in qualifying, Equatorial Guinea is confident in their ability to extend their impressive 13-game unbeaten run against the tournament's hosts.

Jean-Louis Gasset has already pledged that his team will bring the same hunger and determination they displayed in the victory against Guinea-Bissau, and it now falls upon the Nzalang Nacional players to rise to the challenge against the home side. However, Gasset expressed disappointment in Ivory Coast's defeat to the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the host nation's second game, particularly highlighting the team's struggle to find solutions to Jose Peseiro's tactical adjustments.

The three-time African champions shifted from a back four to a five-player defense, causing the Elephants to struggle in creating promising goal-scoring opportunities in the 1-0 loss. Ivory Coast's second half was further marred by a tendency to shoot from low-value positions when facing difficulty breaking down the Super Eagles' well-organized defense, with Seko Fofana being particularly culpable. Currently in third place in Group A, this position is enough for them to advance as one of the best third-placed teams in the competition, considering Groups D, E, and F have yet to complete their second round of fixtures.

Losing to Equatorial Guinea would be considered a disaster, and while a draw could see the Elephants progress in some capacity, it is not expected to satisfy the disappointed home support, who left Ebimpe in low spirits after Nigeria's win.

The two teams have faced each other three times in various competitions, with two encounters taking place in the AFCON. The 2015 champions maintain an undefeated record in these matches, securing two victories and one ending in a draw. In these games, the home team has outscored the Nzalang Nacional, leading by a margin of 5-1.

Notably, Cote d'Ivoire made history as the first host country to suffer a defeat in the group stage of a home Africa Cup of Nations since Equatorial Guinea's 1-0 loss to Zambia in 2012. Equatorial Guinea showcased an impressive performance, scoring four goals for the first time in the AFCON finals, and they aim to carry this momentum into the upcoming match.

In their two AFCON meetings against Equatorial Guinea, Les Éléphants have maintained clean sheets, highlighting their defensive prowess in those encounters.

Equatorial Guinea possible starting lineup:

Owono; Akapo, Obiang, Coco, Ndong; Eneme, Bikoro; Salvador, Machin, Miranda; Nsue

Ivory Coast possible starting lineup:

Fofana; Aurier, Diomande, Ndicka, Konan; Fofana, Sangare, Kessie; Pepe, Krasso, Boga

Given the high stakes of this match, the host nation is anticipated to perform at their best, despite the impressive level of play exhibited by Equatorial Guinea. The Equatorial Guinea team has undeniably showcased exceptional prowess in their journey to AFCON and throughout the tournament. Nevertheless, my confidence leans towards the Ivory Coast team, considering their remarkable performances in both defense and attack, despite their unfortunate loss to Nigeria via a penalty in the second game.

Expectations are that both teams will emphasize defensive play to avoid defeat, making a bet on few goals a plausible option. While Equatorial Guinea has displayed an impressive run, the overall trust in the Ivory Coast team's abilities in both offensive and defensive aspects seems to be a determining factor in the prediction for this crucial match.

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