Nigeria faces Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations final on Sunday. These sides faced off the Group Stage as the Super Eagles beat the Elephants 1-0 with 36% and just one shot on target. Nigeria are chasing a first AFCON crown since 2013 whilst Cote d’Ivoire hopes to win on home soil after last lifting the cup in 2015.
Nigeria dominated in their first match (3.52 xG) but could only draw 1-1 vs Equatorial Guinea. A 1-0 win over Ivory Coast on matchday two was crucial and came in a pragmatic display. A 1-0 win in the third match sealed second spot in the group.
In the knockout stages, they cruised 2-0 past Cameroon and then beat Angola 1-0 in a tight affair. They only created 1.12 xG in that victory. The semi-final was a very close affair and the Super Eagles won on penalties against South Africa after a 1-1 draw. They only had 40% of the ball possession.
Nigeria Team News
Coach Jose Peseiro is not likely to change his starting XI for this match despite going to extra time. Moses Simon will start in preference to Samuel Chukwueze.
Terem Moffi made an impact from the bench in the semi-final, but Victor Osimhen will lead the line. Alex Iwobi will keep his place in central midfield.
The Super Eagles are highly motivated to win this final at any cost.
This AFCON has seen them often with low possession numbers and defending in a tight 5-4-1 shape. They will do the same and look to keep a clean sheet and win 1-0.
Ivory Coast Form
The Elephants came into this tournament in good form and a 2-0 win against Guinea-Bissau was a good start. A 1-0 loss to Nigeria saw just three shots on target from 64% possession. After being humiliated 4-0 by Equatorial Guinea, coach Jean-Louis Gasset was sacked.
Caretaker coach Emerse Fae oversaw a 1-1 draw in the last-16 against Senegal before winning on penalties. Goals in the final minute of regulation time and extra time led to a 2-1 win over Mali and a place in the last four. The semi-final finally saw a win in 90 minutes as they dispatched Congo DR 1-0.
Ivory Coast Team News
Caretaker coach Emerse Fae made four changes in the last match. Odilon Kossounou is set to return to the XI in place of Willy Boly after suspension. Serge Aurier is an injury doubt at right back.
Sebastien Haller is fit to start up front. Ibrahima Sangare and Nicolas Pepe have again have to settle for a place on the bench. Young Reims striker Oumar Diakite scored in the quarter-final and is available after serving a one-game ban.
Ivory Coast Motivation
As the host nation, Cote d’Ivoire will have huge support and motivation. They won’t be afraid of extra time in this one.
With some of their best attackers fit again, the Elephants will play on the front foot.
Nigeria have won 4 of their last 5 matches to zero
Nigeria have scored 1 or fewer goals in 8 of their last 9 matches
Nigeria’s Osimhen has scored 1 goal in 6 matches (24 shots) at this AFCON
Ivory Coast have conceded in 4 of their last 5 matches
Ivory Coast have 1 win in their last 5 matches in regulation time
Ivory Coast have drawn 0-0 in their last 4 AFCON finals
This match looks certain to be cagey and low scoring. The group encounter saw Nigeria play defensively to good effect. They may follow that plan and lift the trophy by a one-goal margin.
Best Bet: Nigeria to win the cup at 1.83
Value Bet: Nigeria to win by exactly 1 goal (90 mins) at 3.90
Correct Score Tip: Nigeria 1-0 Ivory Coast at 6.25