One of the biggest events on the African calendar will reach its dramatic conclusion this weekend, as the final of the Africa Cup of Nations will be staged on Sunday. It has been a thrilling renewal of the event, with no shortage of massive upsets throughout the tournament. But, which side could be set to take home the glory and be crowned AFCON champions?
AFCON Final Information
- Date: Sunday, February 11, 2024
- Location of the Game: Abidjan, Ivory Coast
- Ivory Coast: 2/1
- Draw: 19/10
- Nigeria: 16/10
Ivory Coast Chasing Home Success
It would be fair to say that it has been a very dramatic edition of AFCON for Ivory Coast as the host nation. The African side looked on the verge of elimination following a 4-0 defeat on the final matchday of Group A against Equatorial Guinea, but they managed to progress by the skins of their teeth after finishing a point better off in third.
But, their performance levels have certainly improved since the knockout rounds have got underway. They defied expectations in the round of 16 to eliminate the reigning champions Senegal following a dramatic penalty shootout, before edging out Mali after extra time in the quarterfinals.
The Ivory Coast once again narrowly recorded a win in the last four, with Sebastien Haller scoring the winning goal against DR Congo with just 25 minutes remaining on the clock.
Nigeria Heavily Favoured
For the second time in the tournament, Nigeria will come up against the Ivory Coast, and a repeat result from their success in the group stage would see them crowned African champions. Nigeria have been professional throughout the tournament to this point after winning two from their three group games to finish second in the standings behind Equatorial Guinea.
But, it would be easy to assess that they are a nation that have only looked stronger as the tournament has progressed. Nigeria landed a 2-0 win over Cameroon in the round of 16 following a brace from Ademola Lookman, before edging to a 1-0 success against Angola in the quarterfinals.
The African nation were almost upset in the final four, but they managed to keep their cool from the penalty spot to eliminate South Africa after a pulsating 1-1 draw after extra time. This will be Nigeria’s first appearance in the final since winning the tournament in 2013, which was their third triumph in AFCON.
Head To Head Record
Both nations have recorded nine victories apiece in the 28 previous encounters, with ten matches ending in draws. Nigeria’s win in the group stage ended a two-match losing sequence against the Ivory Coast, but it was their third win in five encounters since the start of 2010.
Ivory Coast vs Nigeria Prediction
This looks set to be a thrilling AFCON final, and the latest BetXchange odds offer excellent value when it comes to wagering on the event. However, Nigeria look to have the measure of their rivals, and we could see a similar match being played out as in the group stage.