Cote ‘d Ivoire vs Nigeria
Feb 3 ,2013 at 15:00 GMT
Royal Bafokeng Stadium,Rustenburg
Referee: Diamel Haimoudi(Algeria)
Underdogs Nigeria face the favorites Cote ‘d Ivoire in the African Cup of Nations Quarter-final. Tipped as one of the Clashes of this round, both the teams would look to be positive from the word go and have a right crack at each other. The Super Eagles will be looking to beat the Elephants and prove the tag of the Underdogs right while the ageing Elephants will look to put the disappointment of loosing the AFCON final last time round and get things right this time by beating Nigeria but it won’t be easy as the Eagles have been splendid in the tournament thus far.
Placed in a tricky group, Nigeria managed to qualify on 2nd place ahead of Zambia, knocking the Defending Champions out of the tournament. Nigeria are employing a three striker formation in the tournament so far,with Victor Moses ‘s pace and Emenike’s physical strength proving to be vital assets for the Super Eagles till now. Joseph Yobo was rested in the last match against Ethiopia but should be back in starting XI to keep a check on Didier Drogba.
While the Elephants, who are the highest ranked team in Africa are still the favorites to win the Cup this time but will have to be on their toes to get past the Eagles and reach the Semis. This might be the last chance for the Elephants to have a go at the Cup with their Golden Generation getting aged and not playing like they have been in the past few years. Ivory Coast are likely to play with Didier Drogba as the lone striker and the trio of Kalou, Yaya Toure and Gervinho are likely to play behind him. Ivory Coast’s defense which did not concede a single goal in AFCON 2012 has already been hit thrice in three matches. Their defense needs to be perfect and any slip-ups could prove costly against Nigeria.
Team and Injury News:
Fegor Ogude will be absent, which is a big blow to the Eagles while Mikel has been cleared to play in the match.
Cote ‘d Ivoire: (4-2-3-1): Barry; Emmanuel Eboué, Kolo Touré, Sol Bamba, Siaka Tiéné; Cheick Tioté, Didier Zokora; Salomon Kalou, Yaya Touré, Gervinho; Drogba
Nigeria:(4-3-3): Enyeama, Ambrose, Yobo, Oboabona, Echiejile, Mikel, Ogude, Mba; Uche, Emenike, Victor Moses
Prediction:3-2 in favor of Cote ‘d Ivoire
We leave you with some facts on Nigeria and Cote ‘d Ivoire !
- Nigeria has won the Nations Cup twice while Cote d’Ivoire have won it once.
- Didier Drogba has scored 60 goals for Cote d’Ivoire.
- Joseph Yobo has now been capped by Nigeria 90 times.
- Didier Zokora is the most capped Elephant with 109 caps.
- Nigeria will be hoping to make it a 10th semi-final appearance in 17 outings.
- Cote d’Ivoire is the first national team coaching job for 44-year old Sabri Lamouchi.
Facts Coutesy: Goal.com