Ivory Coast v Algeria Preview

AFCON 2015 Quarter-Final | Sunday 1st February | Malabo | 21:00




The tournament favourites will clash in the most anticipated match of the quarter-finals. These sides would have preferred meeting each other in the latter stages of the tournament, but Algeria failed to win their group having finished second to Ghana, while Ivory Coast managed to top Group D despite raking up just five points.

To Win (90mins)
Ivory Coast 31/20
Draw 19/10
Algeria 7/4

IVORY COAST

Max Gradel scored a superb first-half goal as Ivory Coast beat Cameroon 1-0 on Wednesday to progress to the knockout stages and eliminate their opponents. It was the Elephants’ first three points of this year’s showpiece after drawing their first two games 1-1 against Guinea and Mali.

Both teams went into their final matches with all to play for, with all four nations in the group locked on two points after their previous clashes had all ended in 1-1 draws.

Ivory Coast managed to break the draw trend of the pool and ended the group stages as the only Group D team who managed to take a victory. Guinea and Mali, who played out a 1-1 draw in Mongomo, face the drawing of lots to decide who plays Group C winners Ghana on Sunday as runners-up.

Yaya Toure once again failed to stand out and drive his team, as he usually does on a weekly basis for Manchester City. The African Player of the Year will be looking to have more of an impact against the number one ranked African side.

Ivory Coast will welcome back star winger Gervinho after he was suspended for two matches for hitting out at a Guinea player. Gervinho has been the focal point of the Ivorians attack since Didier Drogba was at his best for the national team, his pace and trickery could surely expose the Algerian defence.

ALGERIA

Riyad Mahrez and Nabil Bentaleb were on target as Algeria beat Senegal 2-0 in the Africa Cup of Nations to secure a quarter-final place.

It was Algeria’s second win in the group stages which took them to six points, but they had to settle for second spot by virtue of the head-to-head rule whereby Ghana who also finished on the same number of points, beat them.

Leicester City winger Mahrez capitalized in the 11th minute as a Senegal line-up, sent out in a reshaped 3-5-2 formation, struggled badly in the face of Algeria's vibrant attacking play.

Senegal muscled their way back into the contest and controlled much of the second half before Bentaleb beautifully converted Sofiane Feghouli's pass from long range with eight minutes remaining to see his nation through as group runners-up.

Algeria head coach Christian Gourcuff will depend on Dinamo Zagreb striker, El Arbi Hillel Soudani, to replace Sporting Lisbon Islam Slimani.

The Desert Foxes are missing the services of Slimani due to injury after he picked up a muscle problem in Algeria’s second game of the tournament. Talented midfielder Yacine Brahimi is one of Algeria's primary sources of creativity and the FC Porto man will look to cause the Ivory Coast defence all sorts of problems from the get-go.

Betting Verdict: IVORY COAST 31/20
These sides have met in the 2010 and 2013 AFCON’s with both meetings ending in 2-2 draws. Ivory Coast aren’t at their best but they showed their steel to beat Cameroon, and with Gervinho back in the team they will look better going forward. Algeria were lucky to beat South Africa after being outplayed for most of the match and were also far from dangerous when they went down to Ghana in their second group game. Ivory Coast are tipped to oust the north Africans and advance to the semi-finals. 

Written by Wayde Dorkin for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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