Two giants of African football, Ivory Coast and Algeria, go head to head in the final Group E game of the 2021 African Cup of Nations in a mouth-watering fixture as both teams look to attain a place in the round of 16.
Both teams were tipped to be among the strong favourites to win the title but have started the tournament rather unconvincingly.
The Elephants struggled to get a scrappy 1-0 win in their opening game of the tournament against Equatorial Guinea, but the win proved to be vital as an unlucky 2-2 draw against Sierra Leone in their second game did not bear heavy consequences thanks to Algeria losing to shockingly to Equatorial Guinea which means Patrice Beaumelle’s team have secured their place in the next round.
After a rather unlucky 0-0 opening game draw against Sierra Leone, the loss to Equatorial Guinea caused a huge blow for Algeria, who are now at the bottom of Group E.
The North African team now need to win the game against their rivals, and anything other than a win will lead to a premature exit for the defending champions.
Despite the game promising to be a tough encounter, Algeria are tipped as favourites at 2.28 on Sportsbet.io to get all three points because it is a win or bust situation for them. Ivory Coast are placed on 3.20 to get victory while a draw is placed at 2.96.
Manchester City attacker Riyad Mahrez, despite having an underwhelming start to the campaign, will lead his side as they hunt for a win against the star-studded Ivory Coast side. However, the West African country is set to be without defender Willy Boly through injury, which is the only major injury.
The game kicks off at 5 PM Nigerian time on the 20th of January at the Stade Omnisport de Douala, Cameroon. The game promises to be a tough match for either team as they both possess some firepowers in their squad.
Ivory Coast, who missed out on the World Cup playoff spot, will be looking to ensure top spot in the group with a win in order to avoid a strong side in the round of 16.
The case is different for their opponent, who need to win with a favourable scoreline and hope the result of the game between Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea goes in their favour.
Head to head between both sides are pretty close, with nine wins for Ivory Coast, eight wins for Algeria and six draws in 23 games (considering penalty shootouts as a win).
Ivory Coast will seek revenge for their penalty shootout loss against their rivals in the quarterfinals of the previous tournament, which subsequently saw Algeria win their second AFCON title.
BETTING TIPS AND PREDICTION
The game promises to be a cracking encounter, and we are likely to see quality end-to-end football. Both teams to score at least one goal is set at 2.14, which seems to be generous considering the fact that both teams will come out to attack.