Seeking to maintain their unbeaten run in the World Cup 2022 qualifiers, high-flying Ivory Coast welcome Mozambique to the Stade de l’Amitie on Saturday.
The visitors, in stark contrast, are yet to taste victory and find themselves rooted to the bottom of the group after picking up one point from four games.
Ivory Coast picked up their third win on the trot in Group D of the World Cup qualifiers on October 11, when they saw off Malawi 2-1 in the second of their two consecutive meetings.
In an end-to-end affair at the Stade de l’Amite, Khuda Muyaba restored parity in the 19th minute after Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe broke the deadlock inside the opening two minutes before Franck Kessie calmly converted from 12 yards in the 67th minute to condemn the visitors to a second straight loss.
Prior to that, the Elephants were held to an uneventful goalless draw by Saturday’s visitors in September’s reverse fixture, before picking up successive wins over fellow group favourites Cameroon and struggling Malawi.
With 10 points from their opening four games, Patrice Beaumelle’s side are currently top in Group D, one point above Cameroon, who they will take on in their group finale next Tuesday.
This fine run of results has been in no small part down to Ivory Coast’s impressive displays at both ends of the pitch as they have netted seven goals, while keeping two clean sheets so far.
Meanwhile, after finishing rock bottom in Group F of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, Mozambique once again find themselves at the bottom of the pile in the race for a World Cup ticket.
After holding the Elephants to a somewhat impressive draw in their group curtain-raiser, Horacio Goncalves’s men failed to keep the juggernaut rolling as they failed to pick up a point from their subsequent three outings.
Mozambique head into Saturday’s game fresh off the back of a 1-0 home defeat versus Cameroon on October 11, when Gent defender Michael Ngadeu came up trumps for the Indomitable Lions as he grabbed a 68th-minute winner.
Os Mambas have managed just two wins from their most recent 16 outings across all competitions, picking up three draws and losing 11 since a 2-0 victory over Rwanda in the AFCON qualifiers back in November 2019.
While Mozambique will be looking to upset the hosts on Sunday, they have failed to taste victory in any of the last six meetings between the sides, picking up two draws and losing four in that time.
Ivory Coast World Cup Qualifying – Africa form:
Ivory Coast form (all competitions):
Mozambique World Cup Qualifying – Africa form:
Mozambique form (all competitions):
We say: Ivory Coast 2-0 Mozambique
Mozambique have struggled to get going in the qualifiers and face the stern test of facing a significantly stronger Ivory Coast side. The hosts are on a fine run of 10 games without defeat and we are backing them to keep the juggernaut rolling and claim all three points in this one.