Nigeria’s Super Eagles will face the cup’s hosts Cote d’Ivoire in the upcoming final. For both teams, the road to the final was not an easy path - in the dramatic semifinal, Nigeria were able to defeat South Africa only through penalties (4-2), while Cote d’Ivoire got a hard victory against DR Congo (1-0). Interestingly, the final will consist of teams who were in the same group and neither of the teams qualify from the first place. In the group stage, Super Eagles were stronger than Cote d’Ivoire with a score of 1-0. Both teams are not new to the African Cup’s finals, with Nigeria winning it three times (last in 2013), and Cote d’Ivoire was crowned two times (last in 2015).
Nigeria vs. Cote d'Ivoire Preview
Nigeria is pretty confident in the cup playoffs, relaxing only in the 90th minute of the semi-final with South Africa, which led to a nervous penalty shootout. Without considering this match, the Super Eagles played three matches without conceding a goal, in each of these meetings demonstrating a mature and solid game. Despite the presence of such skilled attacking players as Victor Osimhen and Ademola Lookman, Nigeria does not shine in goal scoring metrics, preferring to pragmatically wait for opportunities to increase the advantage, thereby saving players' strength. These factors made it possible to approach the finals of the tournament in the best physical shape, which was also noted by the head coach of the Super Eagles, Joao Peseiro.
Cote d'Ivoire Preview
A few weeks ago, it was very difficult to imagine that the team would be in the finals, given all the problems surrounding Ivory Coast. The team barely got out of the group (1 win, 2 losses), fired the coach in the middle of the tournament and appointed a man with no coaching experience at the highest level as his successor. Despite this, the team managed to overcome the playoffs, beating Mali, Senegal, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Thus, Ivory Coast becomes the first host team since 2006 to reach the final. Interestingly, in 2006 it was Egypt that beat Ivory Coast in the final, with the squad included the current head coach of the team, Emerse Fae.
Betting Tips for Nigeria vs. Cote d'Ivoire
Nigeria to Win the Cup
In the pre match metrics, Nigeria looks the more favourable side to win the final. Despite the charming story of the tournament's hosts who got to this decisive match against all odds, it seems to have taken too many strengths from them given that two of three matches of play offs for Cote D’Ivoire were played with extra time (one with penalty shootout). Given the team’s problems with attacking play and relatively unstable midfield (with Kessie losing position too frequently), Super Eagles have all the chances to get crowned as champions. William Hill evaluates this Nigeria vs. Cote d'Ivoire prediction with odds of 1.85.
Total Under 2.5 Goals
The African Cup of Nations is not the highest scoring tournament in football, and both finalists also do not break the goal scoring statistics despite having a diverse array of attacking players (Sebastien Haller, Victor Osimhen and others). Fatigue and a hard schedule also prevent us from believing that there will be a scoring shootout. Interestingly, 11 out of 12 matches that were played by Cote D’Ivoire and Nigeria had under 2.5 goals. Judging by the Nigeria vs. Cote d'Ivoire odds given by William Hill, we can expect similar results with odds of 1.51.
Victor Osimhen to Score at Any Time
One of the main attacking stars of last European seasons and the main contendant to become of the most expensive forwards in the summer transfer window have produced only one goal in this tournament. The responsibility of scoring goals was taken by Lookman, who scored 3 goals. It seems that the final is the best time to score for one of the best forwards in Europe. William Hill evaluates this Nigeria vs. Cote d'Ivoire tip with odds of 2.87.
Remember to gamble responsibly. Tips provided serve only as a recommendation, not as a call to action. Always rely on your own judgement.