Our prediction for this Africa Cup of Nations 2021 match:
After making it to the quarter-finals at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Ivory Coast will be looking to start a new winning run when they take on Niger in the 2021 AFCON qualifier. The Elephants proved their worth in a 3-1 win over Congo DR in October, which is certainly giving fans a reason for optimism ahead of the visit of Niger. Duo Pepe – Zaha seems to be in perfect working order, and we are positive that they will make life difficult for the opposition defenders.
Ivory Coast defeated Niger in the African Nations Championship last month, but it is well known that key players are rested in this competition. Niger failed to find the net in three of their previous four games in all competitions, which is yet another reason why we are tempted to put our money on the hosts.
Highlighted Player (Gervinho):
Gervais Lombe Yao Kouassi, or Gervinho, is an Ivorian football player born in Anyama, near Abidjan. He started his professional career in the youth team of ASEC Mimosas, where he gained the nickname Gervinho, thanks to the Brazilian coach of the team. After that, the left winger joined Toumodi, a club from the Ivorian Deuxieme Division Zone Four, where he played with Toure brothers for a while. His first European engagement was at KSK Beveren and after two years, the Ivorian international joined Le Mans.
During his spell in MUC 72, Gervinho attracted the attention of many large clubs, but he decided to join LOSC Lille and two years after he received a call from Arsene Wenger, which resulted with him moving to North London. His stay with the Gunners was not as expected, so the player decided to join Roma. During the players’ exodus to China, Gervinho joined Hebei China Fortune in a deal worth €10 Million, but he did not satisfy the demands of the Chinese club, so he went back to Italy, where he plays for Parma.
The left winger, who can also play as a right winger, attacking midfielder and shadow striker, recorded 84 appearances for Ivory Coast, netting 22 goals in the process.
Highlighted Team (Ivory Coast):
Over the years Ivory Coast have established themselves as one of the best African teams. The Elephants won their second Africa Cup of Nations trophy in 2015, with the team beating Ghana in the final of the tournament. Ivory Coast defeated the Black Stars on penalties and it has to be noted that goalkeeper Boubacar Barry scored the winner.
A number of high-profile footballers played (or play) for the Ivory Coast national team, but, no doubt, the most notable players are Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, Salomon Kalou and Gervinho. Ivory Coast are well known for their orange kit, but they play their away games in green shirts and green shorts. Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny is regarded as the team’s home stadium.
Didier Zokora is the player with the most caps for the Ivory Coast national team (123), while aforementioned attacker Didier Drogba is the team’s top scorer (65 goals). Drogba is the symbol of the Ivory Coast football and the former Chelsea man played for the national team from 2002 to 2014.