Ivory Coast vs Nigeria Prediction and Tips

Dumitru Palanchuk
Dumitru Palanchuk
17 January 2024, 14:48

Ivory Coast vs Nigeria Preview

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations is already underway, and the second round of the group stage promises us a top-level match as hosts Ivory Coast will be taking on Nigeria on Thursday, January 18. The kick-off is scheduled for 5 pm local time.

The two teams had very different starts to the tournament and this will be a key point in our Ivory Coast vs Nigeria prediction. In the last five head-to-head games, there have been three wins for the Super Eagles and two for the Elephants. However, the most recent match between the two national teams dates back to 2016.

Ivory Coast Preview

The hosts of the tournament started their journey at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau. They currently top Group A with three points.

The Elephants appear to be on a great run of form, with four wins and one draw in their last five matches across all competitions. In the said five outings, Jean-Louis Gasset’s team has scored 19 goals and conceded just one, keeping four clean sheets.

In our Ivory Coast vs Nigeria tips, we have to understand how the match will impact the situation in Group A. The Elephants already have three points, and a win on Thursday would virtually guarantee their place in the play-offs. 

Nigeria Preview

Nigeria kick-started their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with a 1-1 draw with minnows Equatorial Guinea. The Super Eagles are thus second in Group A with one point.

In the recent five matches across all competitions, Nigeria have recorded one win, three draws and one loss. Coached by Jose Peseira, they have scored six goals and conceded seven.

Despite having one of the best squads at the tournament in terms of names, it is clear that the Ivory Coast vs Nigeria odds favour the hosts due to the better form. After a disappointing match against Equatorial Guinea, the Super Eagles now need a win on Thursday if they want to top Group A.

Betting Tips for Ivory Coast vs Nigeria

Under 2.5 goals

Although it will be two big names going head to head on Thursday, we do not quite expect a high-scoring game in our first Ivory Coast vs Nigeria prediction. Meanwhile, Bet365 gives 1.40 odds on under 2.5 goals in the match. 

While the Elephants have indeed scored 19 goals in the last five matches, half of those came in their 9-0 win over Seychelles, one of the worst national teams in Africa. Ivory Coast have not found their new Didier Drogba, so the team falls more on the conservative side in terms of style. Moreover, the hosts don’t have a reason to open up against Nigeria, even a draw would be a positive result for them.

Nigeria may have names like Victor Osimhen and Kelechi Iheanacho in attack, but that has not resulted in too many goals in recent months. The Super Eagles clearly have a problem with chance creation and we do not see how that problem would be solved overnight.

Both teams to score? No

Continuing with the same line of thought, we expect that at least one of the teams will fail to score on Thursday. Bet365 offers 1.53 odds on it happening.

Having started with a victory, Ivory Coast can be happy even with a goalless draw on Thursday, since a win against Equatorial Guinea in the last round would guarantee their spot as Group A winners. For these reasons, we predict that Gasset will instruct his team to be more focused on possession and defence against Nigeria – not losing the match will be more important.

The Super Eagles have already shown that they have troubles with goalscoring despite the stacked attack. Against a well-organised defence with names like Evan Ndicka, Willy Boly and others, the task of getting the ball over the goal line will be even more difficult. 

Ivory Coast win

Despite our expectation regarding Ivory Coast’s defensive approach to the match, we still believe that the Elephants will get the full points against Nigeria. Bet365 give 2.15 odds on a win for Ivory Coast, and 3.00 on a win to nil if you want to combine it with our previous Ivory Coast vs Nigeria prediction.

Because Nigeria need the win more, the Super Eagles will be forced to push high from the very first minute. However, recent months have taught us that Poseiro’s men struggle massively against deep blocks, and Ivory Coast can definitely set up solid defence for one match.

This will also make the Nigerians more fragile at the back, and Ivory Coast could exploit that via quick counter-attacks. Thankfully, the Elephants have players like Nicolas Pepe and Jeremie Boga who can be very dangerous if given free spaces to run into.

Please remember to always gamble responsibly. Our Ivory Coast vs Nigeria tips are only suggestions, not a call to action. Always rely on your own judgement in the end.