• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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BusinessDay

AFCON Final Preview: Key Stats and Betting Tips for Nigeria vs Ivory Coast clash

The other side of AFCON 2023

The drama and excitement of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ends on Sunday when Nigeria lock horns against host nation Ivory Coast in the final at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

The 2023 AFCON has been full of drama, upsets, excitement, and VAR interventions with many of the early favourites sent home at the Round of 16 and quarter-finals stages.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria booked their place in the final after defeating South Africa 4-2 in penalty shootouts after a thrilling 1-1 draw in extra time.

The Elephants picked up a new form after sacking their head coach Jean-Louis Gasset following a 4-0 defeat against Equatorial Guinea in the group stages and are now through to the final.

Ivory Coast knocked out defending champions Senegal in the quarter-finals and saw off DR Congo in the semi-finals.

Both nations met in the group stages with Nigeria’s Super Eagles claiming a 1-0 victory over Ivory Coast thanks to a penalty from William Troost-Ekong.

The Super Eagles will be hoping for a fourth AFCON title while the Elephants are chasing a third AFCON trophy and the first host nation to be crowned AFCON champions since Egypt in the 2006 edition of the tournament.

Head-to-Head Stats

According to Opta supercomputer, Nigeria are favourites to win the 2023 AFCON, in 56.2% of the 10,000 pre-match simulations.

Following their 1-0 win in the group stages over Ivory Coast, Nigeria will be looking to beat the same nation twice in AFCON for the first time since 2006.

Ivory Coast are the first host nation to reach the AFCON final since Egypt in 2006, who won the trophy that year on penalties against the Elephants after a 0-0 draw.

Five of the last six host nations to reach the AFCON final have won the tournament, the exception being Nigeria in 2000 (drew 2-2 with Cameroon, and lost 4-3 on penalties).

Nigeria are playing in their eighth AFCON final, only Egypt and Ghana (both 9) have played in more such games in the competition (excluding final groups).

The Super Eagles have been victorious in two of their last three (1994 and 2013, lost on penalties in 2000) having lost their three beforehand (1984, 1988 and 1990).

All four of Ivory Coast’s previous AFCON finals have ended goalless and gone to penalties – they won two of those shootouts (1992 and 2015, both vs Ghana) and lost two (2006 vs Egypt and 2012 vs Zambia).

Betting Tips

Ivory Coast have won 17 of their last 18 matches at the AFCON after scoring the first goal (D1) – their last such defeat was in the 2010 quarter-final against Algeria, losing 3-2.

Nigeria is unbeaten in 22 AFCON games when scoring first (W19 D3) since a 3-1 loss to Egypt in 2010.

All six of Ivory Coast’s goals at AFCON 2023 have been scored by different players (Seko Fofana, Jean-Philippe Krasso, Franck Kessié, Simon Adingra, Oumar Diakité and Sebastien Haller). They last had more goalscorers in a single edition in 2008 (8).

Victor Osimhen has had 24 shots at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations but only managed to score one goal (4% conversion rate).

Since the 2010 AFCON, the only players to attempt more shots at a single AFCON tournament are Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan (25 shots, 1 goal in 2013) and Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar (31 shots, 8 goals in 2021).