Ivory Coast vs Algeria: Can Arsenal-target Zaha stop sensational Mahrez at AFCON 2019

The clash between the Elephants of Ivory Coast and the Desert Foxes of Algeria on Thursday is set to be one of the biggest games of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). These two teams are so strong that they could both go all the way in Egypt this summer. They’ve both picked up some strong results to reach the quarter-finals and tipped to go all the way.

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However, only one of them can emerge victorious and will book their place in the last four.  Could the Ivory Coast continue their bid to repeat their 2015 success, or will Algeria continue a perfect run in this competition so far? There’s plenty of talent across both sides, so this one is likely to fall to the side who are the most tactically organised.

Ivory Coast booked their place in this round with a 1-0 victory over Mali on Monday. The Elephants had Premier League star Wilfried Zaha to thank for the all-important goal which took them into this round, but can the Palace winger produce another important moment for his national side this week?

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He’s just one member of a strong attacking line up for the Elephants, who also have Nicolas Pepe and Jonathan Kodija in their ranks. The 2015 champions are hoping to begin a new era of success.

However, defensive issues remain their big concern and this is exactly when those are likely to be found out as they are facing one of the best-attacking sides at the tournament.

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Algeria are aiming to follow up their 1990 triumph in this competition when they return to action on Thursday. This is their third appearance in the quarters since 2006. It’s been a quiet few years for Algeria, but they do have talented players making their way through their squad. They’ve built up a side capable of going all the way in this competition, but how far can they go in 2019?

There are likely to be doubts around this current Algeria side until they achieve success. They’ve got that mark against them now, but this side can’t be judged on those failings. This side seems to be peaking, with talented options in both attack and defence. Meanwhile, they face a front-loaded Ivory Coast side, a team who are really missing Eric Bailly and Serge Aurier at the back.

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Ivory Coast have already failed in their big test – a 1-0 loss to Morocco in the group stage. Meanwhile, Algeria have won every game they’ve had at this tournament. They’ve kept a clean sheet in all four games in Egypt so far, winning eight of their last 10 matches.

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Team News

Ivory Coast are set to miss UEFA Champions League finalist, Serge Aurier who is a doubt for the clash due to an injury. Algeria have the edge in this department as they have a clean bill of health.

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Head to Head

Ivory Coast 3-1 Algeria

Algeria 2-2 Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast 2-3 Algeria

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Prediction and betting tips

Ivory Coast have already shown in this tournament that they can be fragile at the back, and while they have won some games, they have not been devastating in attack. With Aurier set to miss the clash, we are predicting that the Desert Foxes of Algeria would secure an all-important but narrow win that will set up a semi-final clash with the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

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A bet of Algeria win and under 2.5 goals can help punters win almost N40,000 with a stake of N10,000. A safer bet is Algeria to win the game in 90 minutes which would double the amount of money staked on the bet.

 

 

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