2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying – Ivory Coast vs Niger Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When does Ivory Coast vs Niger kick off? Saturday 16th November, 2019 – 19:00 (UK)

Where is Ivory Coast vs Niger being played? Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Abidjan

What TV channel is Ivory Coast vs Niger on? Ivory Coast vs Niger will not be televised live in the UK

Where can I stream Ivory Coast vs Niger? Ivory Coast vs Niger will not be streamed live in the UK

Where can I get tickets for Ivory Coast vs Niger? Tickets can be purchased at the stadium on the day of the match

THE TEAM NEWS

IVORY COAST

  • Ivory Coast open up their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign against Niger followed by a trip to Ethiopia three days later. They are favourites to qualify from a group that also contains 2019 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finalists Madagascar.
  • This is their first competitive match since exiting the 2019 AFCON on penalties in the quarter-finals against eventual champions Algeria. They have played three friendly matches since then though, with a defeat against Benin followed by wins against Tunisia and most recently DR Congo.
  • A 24-man squad has been named for the double-header of matches with Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe, Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur's Serge Aurier all included. Jonathan Kodjia and Jean Michael Seri are both absent from the squad. Genoa striker Christian Kouame and Toulouse midfielder Ibrahim Sangare have been left out due to their participation in the under-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

NIGER

  • Niger have the ominous task of a trip to face Ivory Coast in their opening match of the 2021 AFCON qualifiers. They then play host to Madagascar three days later in the second match of the double-header.
  • Frenchman Jean-Guy Wallemme will take charge of the team for the first time having only very recently being appointed as the coach of the national team. Wallemme, who has previous international coaching experience with Congo, will continue to coach French team C'Chartres alongside his role with Niger.
  • With two places up for grabs, Niger will realistically be targeting second place and will see their matches against Madagascar and Ethiopia as key to their campaign so anything from this opening match would be seen as a bonus.

THE PREDICTION

Ivory Coast will be aiming for a strong start to their qualifying campaign with nothing less than a win considered satisfactory against Niger. The home team have named a strong squad with plenty of top-level experience in their ranks. Niger face an uphill task to get something from this match, and with a new coach in charge they may take some time to settle into a new system. It is difficult to see anything other than a routine home win.

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