Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Africa Cup of Nations Preview: Ivory Coast vs. Egypt Round of 16

Africa Cup of Nations Preview: Ivory Coast vs. Egypt Round of 16

The AFCON 2021 round of 16 has been nothing short of entertaining, and what better way to close out the show than with an Ivory Coast clash at Douala Stadium against Egypt. The Elephants have their scoring boots on, and them finding the back of the net is a when, rather than if, but we all know Egypt have a magic weapon, running down the wing, the Egyptian King, Mohamed Salah.

In this matchup of the biggest and best Africa has to offer, who will progress to the quarter finals? Can Cote D’Voire’s Nicolas Pepe and Sebastian Haller make an impact? Or will the pride of the Egyptians be on full display?

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Africa Cup of Nations: Round of 16
Wednesday 26 January 
Douala Stadium 
18:00

To Win (90 mins)
Ivory Coast  5/4
Draw 31/20
Egypt 26/10

To Qualify
Ivory Coast  11/20
Egypt 5/4

Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast have been one of the biggest attacking threats to defensive lines this African Cup of Nations. Six goals scored to date against Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Algeria, it proved a rather comfortable run-in group E. I say rather because they have had lapses in judgement defensively, particularly against Sierra Leone drawing 2-2. There will be a real belief for the Ivorians going into the knockout stages, but their run is sure to be the toughest of the lot should they get passed Egypt, they will have to go through Morocco in the quarter finals.

Finishing top of group K in the AFCON qualifiers the confidence coming in has bellowed over for Patrice Beaumelle’s men having topped their group E of the finals. The team had a few rocky moments relationally prior to the tournament and have since come together under the Frenchman’s watchful eye. Patrice has stated his confidence in his players to go far, and feels the game will be a tactical one stating, “We are ready for the game… My players have gained a lot of confidence, the game will be a tactical one and we will do what we can to contain Egypt’s danger on the pitch.”

Their last fixture against Algeria, the Elephants were sharper, quicker, and even showed flair on occasion. They could have won by a greater margin, even if Riyad Mahrez netted his penalty, you would have still backed Ivory Coast to finish them off. Even in the dying embers of the game, Sebastien Haller put the ball in the back of the net after a well worked play but was unfortunately offside showing their desire to really go for the jugular.

We will probably see a similar starting line-up to that of the Algeria performance. Haller and Nicolas Pepe have a great understanding, with the Arsenal man scoring two and assisting one, and Ajax’s forward finding two himself. No injuries, no covid, no suspensions, it’s a full-strength squad for Beaumelle.

The Ivorians had their moment of bad luck against Sierra Leone. With the hard work and push for success in this campaign they will be hoping for their efforts to pay off, and maybe, just maybe the luck goes in their favour as well.

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Egypt

The mightiest of the lot, Egypt, boast a rich history in this tournament, and most eyes of the football world are all fixated on Mohamed Salah grabbing success on the African continent. The mighty Pharaohs may have had a slow start, but coach Carlos Queiroz has outstanding belief in his men.

There has been a noted improvement by Egypt from their opening fixture to their last group stage fixture. The North African giants were humbled when they faced Nigeria in the opening matchday, who have since been knocked out of the tournament. So, all the pressure was on when they came up against Guinea-Bissau and bounced back with a one nil victory courtesy of the main man himself, the Egyptian King, Salah. With work still to be done, a victory over Sudan at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium saw them close out group E with six points from a possible nine.

Egypt will still have to do without Al Ahly defensive midfielder Akram Tawfik who sustained an injury against Nigeria in matchday one, but they will have a boost with wing-back Ahmed Fatouh having participated in training leading up to the clash with Ivory Coast.

As opposed to the obvious Salah, a key player that can pull some strings from further back on the pitch has to be 23-year-old Mohamed Abdelmonem, who should retain his spot after an exceptional performance against Sudan, scoring the winner in the 35th minute.

Egypt had high hopes coming into the tournament, and a little set back has only made them fight harder unifying the team even further. The knowledge is that The Pharaohs were expected to cruise, but they have shown the ability to put in a shift when needed and will not shy away from a challenge.

Prediction: Ivory Coast (5/4)

Ivory Coast are one of the most inform teams at the AFCON going into their fixture with Egypt. Scoring a goal will not be in question for the Ivorians, but can they keep Salah quiet is the major thought going into the fixture. Salah has taken up a more central role this tournament, and Eric Bailey and Simon Deli will have their hands full, but I fell they can get the job done. The odds are perfect to have a straight bet on Ivory Coast to win in 90 minutes.

Written by Joshua Gaillard