Nigeria U23 v Côte d'Ivoire: Team News, Preview & Prediction - 9jaflaver



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Nigeria U23 v Côte d’Ivoire: Team News, Preview & Prediction

Group B action of the Total U-23 Africa Cup of Nations Egypt 2019 kicks off on Saturday at the Cairo based Al-Salam Stadium, when Nigeria faces Cote d’Ivoire in a thrilling West African derby.

The Olympic Eagles beat Sudan to qualify for Egypt 2019, while the Elephants edged Guinea over two legs.Victory for either side will be crucial in their quest to progress to the competition’s semi-final – where Africa’s three representatives for Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games will be picked.

Team News

The Nigerian U-23 Imama Amapakabo manager is without his captain Azubuike Okechukwu and striker Taiwo Awoniyi, as they look to defend the title they won in 2015 in Senegal after both players were held back by their European clubs.Kelechi Nwakali will assume the armband in İstanbul Başakşehir midfielder absence.Les Elephants coach Soualiho Haidara will hold his hopes on the shoulders of Italian side Genoa prolific striker Christian Kouame. The 21-year old had scored five goals for Rossoblu in Serie A this season and proclaimed himself as one of the continent’s most promising talents.

Head to Head 

Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire have met on two occasions in the U23 level with the Olympic Eagles winning one leg, while Les Elephants triumph once.

Recent Form

Olympic Eagles have won three and lost two from their last five games, while Les Elephants have three victories and one loss from their last four fixtures.

Nigeria Coach quotes Imama Amapakabo:

We are the defending champions and the expectations are high in our country, as the U-23 team has already won everything in the Olympics; gold (1996), silver (2008) and bronze (2016).

Kelechi Nwakali (Captain, Nigeria):

“We know that Cote d’Ivoire is a very good team. It will be a very tough competition but we have worked to achieve our common goal which is a place in the 2020 Olympics.

Soualiho Haidara (Coach, Cote d’Ivoire):

“Cote d’Ivoire will be ready not only against Nigeria but also for all other teams of the group. It’s a toigh group but we are focused.

Ismail Diallo (Captain, Cote d’Ivoire): “When we talk about the national jersey, all games are important. This competition qualifies for the Olympics, which is even more important.

Prediction:

Nigeria 2-1 Cote d’Ivoire



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