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News Every Day |

Nigeria vs Ivory Coast – Afcon final: Kick-off time, team news as hosts face Osimhen and Co in massive showpiece clash

HOSTS Ivory Coast take on Nigeria in the African Cup of Nations final on Sunday.

The Elephants reached the final after edging out the DR Congo 1-0 thanks to a goal from Sebastien Haller.

AFP
Sebastien Haller scored the winning goal against DR Congo to send Ivory Coast to the Afcon final[/caption]
EPA
Nigeria beat South Africa on penalties to reach the final[/caption]

The former West Ham striker volleyed an unconventional strike over and past Lionel Mpasi in the second half.

The Ivorians held out to seal the win and set up the final against Nigeria.

They enjoyed their celebrations in the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpé as Chelsea legend Didier Drogba also got involved.

Nigeria made their own way to the last two after a tense clash with South Africa in the semi-final.

The Super Eagles looked to have done the job inside 90 minutes thanks to William Troost-Ekong’s penalty.

However, extra time was forced as Teboho Mokoena also converted from the spot.

A penalty shootout was needed to separate the sides as Nigeria scrapped though.

The matter of the trophy will be decided at the Olympic Stadium.

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Ivory Coast has had an up-and-down tournament, having lost two of their group games.

They only qualified as one of the best third-placed teams which saw them sack manager Jean-Louis Gasset mid-tournament.

The nation made a loan enquiry to appoint Herve Rennard from the French women’s team.

He did not take the role and forgotten Premier League flop Emerse Fae took on the job and has had a great impact.

The tournament has been full of thrills throughout, as former Manchester United flop Bebe and ex-West ham star Arthur Masuaku scoring brilliant free-kicks.

Meanwhile, Morocco star Youssef En-Nesyri had to celebrate his goal from the bench, and Yves Bissouma playing while suffering from malaria.

Team news

Nigeria star Victor Osimhen was passed fit to play against South Africa despite initial concerns over an abdominal injury.

He should be fine to face Ivory Coast in the final on Sunday.

Meanwhile Ola Aina, Moses Simon and Calvin Bassey all escaped bookings in the semi-finals and are available for selection.

Ivory Coast will welcome back trio Serge Aurier, Odilon Kossounou and Oumar Diakite after they complete their suspensions.

Who will be the star men?

AP
Sebastien Haller is playing two years on from his cancer diagnosis[/caption]
AP
Victor Osimhen is one of the world’s best striker[/caption]

Sebastien Haller will want to play a key role for the Ivory Coast in the final.

The former Hammer scored the decisive goal in the semi-final to take with his first of the tournament.

He will have some stern competition, however, as Nigeria has its own attacking talisman.

Osimhen may have only scored once during his six appearances, but he will be keen to add to that tally.

The Napoli striker is considered one of the most prolific in Europe and could fire Nigeria to Afcon glory on Saturday.

What have the managers said?

AFP
Jose Peseiro wants to lead Nigeria to glorly[/caption]
AP
Emerse Fae was appointed midway through the tournament[/caption]

Nigeria manager Jose Peseiro has always insisted that when he took the job, he had one aim, and that was to win Afcon.

He told BBC Sport Africa: “When I signed the contract, I said I want to win the Afcon.

“Either way, I don’t know if everybody believed or not. I have believed since the first moment.

“We haven’t won nothing until now – we want to win the Afcon.”

Ivory Coast manager Emerse Faé has claimed that it is a “dream” to have led the team to the final.

He said: “We are happy, we’re really moved. It’s like a dream, when you go back two weeks to the defeat here against Equatorial Guinea.

“It was hard then to imagine that we might qualify for the final of our own Afcon.”

SunSport prediction

Nigeria 1 Ivory Coast 3

When is Nigeria vs Ivory Coast?

  • Nigeria’s big Afcon final clash with Ivory Coast will take place on Sunday, January 11.
  • The game will kick off at 8pm UK time.
  • Nigeria vs Ivory Coast will be played at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

What channel is it and can it be live streamed?

  • Nigeria vs Ivory Coast will be shown live on Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Football and BBC Three in the UK.
  • You can live stream the action from the NOW TV or Sky Go app, both of which are available for download onto your mobile or tablet device.
  • The game is also available to stream for FREE from the BBC iPlayer, so long as you have a valid TV licence.

Odds

  • Nigeria – 31/20
  • Draw – 19/10
  • Ivory Coast – 2/1
  • Nigeria to lift trophy – 3/4
  • Ivory Coast to lift trophy – 2/1

*Odds courtesy of Ladbrokes and correct at time of publication.

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