Ivory Coast and Ethiopia go head-to-head on Tuesday at 2pm (UK time) looking to seal first place in their Africa Cup of Nations qualification group.
Les Éléphants lead the way in Group K with 10 points from five games while Ethiopia are second on nine points. Madagascar are third with seven points and face bottom-of-the-group Niger in their final game, so neither Ivory Coast nor Ethiopia can take their foot off the gas if they wish to seal progression to next year’s tournament.
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Where to watch Ivory Coast vs Ethiopia on TV:
- UK: N/A
- US: beIN SPORTS XTRA
Scoreline prediction: Ivory Coast 2-1 Ethiopia
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Ivory Coast vs Ethiopia build-up & previous line-ups:
The Ivory Coast have lost just one of their five qualifying matches so far, though it was against Tuesday’s opposition, falling 2-1 back in November 2019, despite going 1-0 up inside three minutes. Patrice Beaumelle’s side recovered to beat Niger 1-0 last time out and need only a point to seal qualification to next year’s tournament in Cameroon, while a win will see them progress top of the group.
But Ethiopia have the best goals scored (9) and conceded (3) records in Group K, while their shock victory over the Ivory Coast and a 4-0 win over Madagascar in their opening match serve as reminders that they cannot be underestimated. Wubetu Abate’s men lost 1-0 to Niger recently but will seek to use their previous victory over the Ivory Coast as inspiration here. Should they win, or just better Madagascar’s result, Ethiopia will seal their place at the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since 2013 and only the second time since 1982.
- Ivory Coast (vs Niger): Gbohouo; Bailly, Coulibaly, Boly; Aurier, Kessie, Sangare, Kanon; Pepe, Kodija, Gradel.
- Ethiopia (vs Madagascar): Shanko; Yesuf, Tamene, Baye, Tonjo; Bekele, Tekeste, Alqadi; Nesru, Kebede, Gebremichael.
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Player to watch: Max Gradel (Ivory Coast)
Continuing his excellent form at club level for Sivasspor, Max Gradel found the net during the Ivory Coast’s 3-0 win over Niger in their last match, his second goal in the current Afcon qualifying cycle. Gradel has now produced a direct goal contribution in each of his last four games for club and country, scoring twice and assisting twice, while across Super Lig and Europa League play alone this season, he has 10 goals and 10 assists. Gradel is clearly one of the biggest difference-makers in this Ivory Coast squad, and it may well be him who decides this tie to seal top spot in the group for his nation.
Afcon qualifiers 2020/21 recent form:
- Ivory Coast: WDWLW
- Ethiopia: WWLWL
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