Preview: Ivory Coast vs. Egypt

Preview: Ivory Coast vs. Egypt

The Africa Cup of Nations knockout stages continue on Wednesday and will see two African heavyweights in Ivory Coast and Egypt square off at the Douala Stadium for a place in the quarter-finals.

The Elephants enjoyed an unbeaten run in the group stages, picking up two wins and one draw, while the Pharaohs finished runners-up to Nigeria in Group D after claiming six points from three games.

On the back of a comfortable run in the group stages, Ivory Coast will head into the knockout stages with real belief and renewed confidence in their chances of going all the way and picking up their first Africa Cup of Nations title since 2015.

Having finished first in Group K of the qualifiers, Patrice Beaumelle’s men got their campaign proper underway on January 12, when they claimed a 1-0 victory over Equatorial Guinea before playing out a thrilling 2-2 draw with Sierra Leone four days later.

Ivory Coast then wrapped things up in the group stages in style as they saw off Algeria 3-1 last Thursday, when Franck Kessie, Ibrahim Sangare and Nicolas Pepe scored to send the reigning African champions packing.

The Elephants, who finished top of Group E, one point above runners-up Equatorial Guinea, head into Wednesday’s game unbeaten in all but one of their last 15 outings, claiming 10 wins and four draws in that time.

Egypt, on the other hand, were denied a dream start to their AFCON campaign as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Nigeria in their group opener on January 11.

Like all good sides do, the Pharaohs quickly bounced back from that result as they claimed a 1-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau four days later courtesy of a second-half strike from Mohamed Salah.

The Northeastern Africans wrapped up the group stages on a winning note as they saw off a resilient Sudan side 1-0 at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium last time out to clinch a second-placed finish in Group D with six points from three outings.

Egypt head into the round of 16 as the most decorated side on the continent with a record seven Africa Cup of Nations titles, with their last coming in 2010, when they picked up a 1-0 victory over Ghana in the final.

Carlos Queiroz’s men will feel confident of claiming the desired result and making it to the quarter-finals of the continental tournament as they go up against an opposing side who they are unbeaten against in all but one of the the last five meetings between the teams, claiming three wins and one draw in that time.

Ivory Coast Africa Cup of Nations form:
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Ivory Coast form (all competitions):
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Egypt Africa Cup of Nations form:
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Egypt form (all competitions):
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We say: Ivory Coast 2-1 Egypt
Ivory Coast head into the knockout stages as one of the most in-form sides in the tournament, losing just once in their last 15 games across all competitions. After a sloppy opening to the tournament, Egypt appear to have found their rhythm and will come into this one with sky-high confidence. With that said, we predict a thrilling encounter with the Elephants coming away with the win, albeit by the odd goal.

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