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AFCON: Super Eagles to battle Ivory Coast in crucial match



Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro plans to stick to his previous game plan as his team faces Ivory Coast in their second Group A match of the 2023 AFCON today at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

This will be the ninth meeting between Super Eagles and Ivory Coast at the AFCON, with both teams having won three games each, while the other two ended in a draw.

After their 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea in their first game, Peseiro’s team needs a positive result against Ivory Coast, who won their first game 2-0 against Guinea-Bissau, to get their campaign back on track.

Despite the importance of the match, Peseiro remained prophetic during the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

Peseiro stated that they have what it takes to win the game and won’t change their strategy because they create chances.

He acknowledged the issues fro their last game and believes they deserve more, sometimes God takes and sometimes God gives, and if it’s the right time, God will give them what they need.

Ivory Coast captain Max-Alain Gradel sounded a warning to the Eagles ahead of the game.

Max-Alain Gradel, the captain of Ivory Coast, has warned the Super Eagles ahead of the match.

Gradel, who was part of the Ivory Coast squad that won the AFCON in Equatorial Guinea in 2015 and has 105 caps, warned that they would make their fans proud on match day despite their respect for their West African neighbors.

Gradel stated that Ivory Coast respects all their opponents but fears nobody, they will do what they have to do.

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He also mentioned that it’s a special moment for them to play the Africa Cup of Nations at home with the support of their people.

They will do everything to make their people proud and have super players in the squad, especially for what they bring to the group, Gradel also acknowledged that the match is decisive and important, and they know what they have to do.

Kelechi Iheanacho, the Eagles forward, says he is fully fit for the upcoming match against Ivory Coast after missing Nigeria’s first game due to a muscle injury.

He started his recovery at his club and was not replaced in the squad. During the pre-match conference on Wednesday, Peseiro also confirmed that the player was fully fit.

Iheanacho said that he’s feeling really good and ready to serve the nation, and that they need Nigerians to support them.

He also mentioned that their draw in the first game is a wakeup call for them and that they have all it takes to win.

Playing against the hosts, one thing the Eagles will have to deal with today is the intimidating support the Ivorians will get inside the 60,000 capacity Alassane Ouattara Stadium.

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