3 Things Nigeria must do right to defeat Ivory Coast in AFCON 2023 fixture


Eyebrows have been raised as to whether the Super Eagles of Nigeria can defeat Ivory Coast in their 2023 AFCON fixture scheduled to take place today, Thursday, January 18, 2024. These concerns are valid taking a look at the run of form of the national side in recent friendlies, tournament and qualifying fixtures played under the head coach Peseiro.

As hard as it may seem to believe the Super Eagles of Nigeria possess a team strong enough to beat the Ivorians this team of some of the best players in the world has to adopt three key things to ensure that they pick up their first three points at AFCON 2023.

What must Nigeria do to beat Ivory Coast at AFCON 2023?

Taking a full match analysis in the first fixture of AFCON 2023 played by Nigeria against Equatorial Guinea we have identified three key factors that prevented the team from securing all three points in the fixture and ending the match in a draw.

The key to getting results for any team lies in how fast the management as well as the players are quick enough to identify their lapses in previous fixtures and look for a way to correct them ahead of another fixture in the same competition.

What must Nigeria work on to win at AFCON 2023?

Convert their chances

The stats in the Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea fixture showed that Nigeria had 7 shots on target in the fixture and it is concerning that the attack only managed to convert 1 which was the only goal the Super Eagles scored in the fixture.

This is a huge concern because most of the chances the team had were clear-cut and even one on one opportunities the quality of Nigeria's attack was supposed to convert. These chances will be created by the Super Eagles in the Ivory Coast vs Nigeria fixture as the two sides are attack-minded. The quality of Nigeria's midfield is what gives the team the edge in this fixture. Top forwards like Victor Osimhen, Moses Simon and Ademola Lookman have to convert these chances to get the result.

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Play the right players in the right position on the pitch

This is a major determinant as to how well Nigeria will play against Ivory Coast today, The Super Eagles have always had controversies when it comes to player management and even usage as well. Eyebrows were raised with the first announcement of the 25-man squad list as many believe some players should not have been added to the list.

Experience in all ramifications is important in any team but in a situation where the player with the experience lacks in quality and will in turn affect the team the head coach will need to re-evaluate his or her choices and make the right choice in saving the team.

This is something the Super Eagles of Nigeria will have to work on and adopt to progress out of the group stage of the competition.

The desire to win

What differentiates the top sides from others aside from having the best set of players happens to be the mentality of the players and the team as a whole. The mentality to always be winners and get the best result is a top mentality that will affect how a team plays. The mentality is something the Super Eagles of Nigeria have been missing since they won the AFCON 2013 competition.

With just a few players on the pitch displaying this, the overall mentality of the team is divided and as such getting the best result out of the team is next to impossible.

The Super Eagles from our initial match analysis possess the quality to secure their first victory at AFCON 2023 against the hosts Ivory Coast. The question happens to be if the team is ready to utilize this quality.

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