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Senegal v Ivory Coast – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Senegal faces Ivory Coast in the last 16 of the African Cup of Nations on Monday.

Senegal v Ivory Coast

Senegal faces Ivory Coast in the last 16 of the African Cup of Nations on Monday. The West African rivals face off for a place in the quarter-finals. The Lions of Teranga topped their group whilst the Elephants scraped into the knockout stages after losing their last two matches.

Senegal Form  

The Lions of Teranga have been in very strong form since their World Cup exit to England in December 2022. They qualified for AFCON with relative ease and took four points from two 2026 World Cup qualifiers back in November. In this tournament, they have won all three of their matches.

A 3-0 win over The Gambia even saw four ‘big chances’ missed, before beating Cameroon 3-1. They allowed their opponents 0.37 xG and five shots in that victory. Their final group match saw two second-half goals to beat Guinea 2-0. Once again, they defended excellently and only allowed one shot on target.

Senegal Team News

Coach Aliou Cisse used a back three in the opening match but reverted to a back four in the fixtures since then. Moussa Niakhate of Nottingham Forest and Abdou Diallo are fighting for one spot in the defence. Right back Youssouf Sabaly is injured.

Boulaye Dia missed the tournament with injury, but Senegal has plenty of depth with Nicolas Jackson only on the bench so far. Habibou Diallo will lead the line instead.

Senegal Motivation

Confidence in the squad is high and they look like a well-oiled machine. The motivation to reach the next stage is huge.

Aliou Cisse won’t play too open of a style. He is pragmatic and may favour playing on the break with the Ivorians backed to attack by a vocal crowd.

Ivory Coast Form

The Elephants qualified for the tournament as hosts but played in the qualifying section anyway. They won four of six matches, following a 3-0 loss in Zambia with a 1-0 home win over Lesotho. They came into this tournament with six points from six in World Cup qualifying, beating Seychelles 9-0 and then the Gambia 2-0.

They beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in the tournament opener before a 1-0 loss to Nigeria as they created just 0.57 xG from 64% possession. Their last match was a humiliating 4-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea despite having 22 shots and 2.06 xG. They sacked coach Jean-Louis Gasset after the loss, with Emerse Fae as interim coach for this fixture.

Ivory Coast Team News

There could be changes to the XI Serge Aurier recalled. Willy Boly is set to be dropped at the back despite his high profile. Youngster Ousmane Diomande is expected to be recalled.

Up front, Wilf Zaha is not in the squad and Sebastien Haller is nursing an ankle injury. Jean-Philippe Krasso didn’t impress in the first two matches, so Nicolas Pepe played as a striker last time out.

Ivory Coast Motivation

As the host nation, support will be strong. Motivation will be high to right the wrongs of that 4-0 loss last time out.

They will play with some emotion from the crowd and take the game to Senegal.

Key Stats

Senegal have lost just 2 of their 19 matches since their 2022 World Cup exit to England

Senegal have won 6 of their last 7 matches (5 clean sheets)

Senegal have kept 15 clean sheets in their last 21 AFCON matches

Ivory Coast have lost their last 2 matches to nil

Ivory Coast had the third-most shots in the group stages (46)


This is a match in which Senegal are favourites to win. Their defence is rock-solid and Ivory Coast’s finishing has been very poor with Haller injured. I’m backing a low-scoring game here.

Best Bet: Senegal win (90 mins) at 2.25

Alternative Bet: Senegal to qualify at 1.68

Alternate Bet: Senegal clean sheet (90 mins) at 2.40

James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter:

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