Nigeria vs Ivory Coast latest news
Nigeria have arrived at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium.
Victor Osimhen hanging back, away from the singing and dancing at the front of the group.
Sanusi is fit for Nigeria and he starts tonight on that left wing.
Iwobi and Onyeka in midfield, Osimhen leads the line, and it’s Chukwueze who comes into the side to start. Simon drops to the bench.
For Ivory Coast, Kossounou and Aurier are straight back in the team after suspension.
Gradel gets the nod to start in the front three, alongside Adingra and Haller.
Starting XI: Y. Fofana, Aurier, Kossounou, Ndicka, Konan, Seri, Kessie, S. Fofana, Gradel, Adingra, Haller
Subs: Amani, Bamba, Boga, Diakite, Diallo, Diomande, Kouame, Krasso, Pepe, Sangare, Sangare, Singo
Starting XI: Nwabali, Ajayi, Troost-Ekong, Bassey, Aina, Onyeka, Iwobi, Sanusi, Chukwueze, Lookman, Osimhen
Subs: Aribo, Awaziem, Iheanacho, Moffi, Musa, Omeruo, Onuachu, Onyedika, Osayi-Samuel, Simon, Uzoho, Yusuf
Victor Osimhen is fit for Nigeria and expected to lead the line tonight.
He has scored only once in the tournament, in the Super Eagles’ opener against Equatorial Guinea, though he did have one disallowed in the last-four win over South Africa.
Despite the lack of goals, Jose Peseiro is still happy with his main man.
“He doesn’t play like he is the star,” the Nigeria boss said. “He fights for the team and is completely unselfish.
"He knows he is an important player and he gives us the best energy. He has suffered a lot in this tournament with all the attention he receives from the opposing defenders because he knows it is a team game."
AFP via Getty Images31 minutes ago
It’s been a wild ride!
An opening win over Guinea-Bissau got the hosts off to a good start, but Ivory Coast followed that with a defeat to Nigeria and they were then beaten 4-0 by Equatorial Guinea.
Jean-Louis Gasset was sacked - but the Elephants made it through to the knockout stages as one of the best third-placed teams.
They then beat defending champions Senegal on penalties, before a 122nd-minute winner saw Ivory Coast past Mali in the quarter-finals.
A 1-0 win over DR Congo was relatively boring in comparison, but it booked a place in the AFCON final.
Jose Mourinho is firmly in the Nigeria camp tonight.
He is close friends with Super Eagles boss Jose Peseiro, so no surprise that Mourinho is hoping for a Nigeria win!
Nigeria are set to make a late decision on Zaidu Sanusi’s fitness.
The left-back missed the Super Eagles’ semi-final victory over South Africa with a hamstring injury but is potentially in contention to feature tonight.
Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro told reporters: “He was partially involved in Friday training and we will check his condition again tonight before we make a decision.”
Having switched to a 3-4-3 formation midway through the group stage, Nigeria have only conceded two goals all tournament.
Sanusi had been an ever-present until the semi-final, when he was replaced by Bright Osayi-Samuel as Ola Aina switched to the left flank.
AFP via Getty Images55 minutes ago
AFCON finals haven’t always been full of action.
Two years ago, Senegal beat Egypt at the end of 120 goalless minutes. In 2019, it was Algeria who lifted the trophy, edging out Senegal with a 1-0 win.
Since 2004, only one AFCON final has had more than a single goal.
It could be a long night - settle in!
Ivory Coast interim coach Emerse Fae was keen to state that Nigeria do not have a psychological edge over his side, despite victory in the group-stage when the two sides met.
Fae is confident that there is very little between the two nations, despite the Super Eagles being favourites.
“The fact that Nigeria had beaten us is a good thing because we know whom we are up against,” Fae insisted.
AFP via Getty ImagesOlder