Ivory Coast welcome Guinea-Bissau to the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in the AFCON 2023 opener on Saturday.
Cote d’Ivoire are the hosts for this edition of the continental tournament and have been drawn in Group A alongside Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.
The home team will appear in the competition for the tenth time in a row. They were knocked out of the Round of 16 in the previous edition by eventual runners-up Egypt and will be looking to improve on that record this time around.
Guinea-Bissau qualified for the competition for the fourth time in a row. Interestingly, they have been eliminated from the group stage in the last three editions and will be aiming to qualify for the knockout stage.
Both teams warmed up for the competition with a friendly match last week. The hosts recorded a comfortable 5-1 win over Sierra Leone thanks to goals from Ousmane Diomande, Franck Kessié, Jonathan Bamba, Jeremie Bogya and Lazare Amani. The guests, on the other hand, lost 6:2 against Mali.
Simon Adingra and Sebastien Haller are in the wars and may not start the Elephants’ first game in the competition.
Households like Eric Bailly, Wilfried Zaha and Nicolas Pepe are not part of Ivory Coast’s squad aiming for a third African title.
Despite the absences, the hosts’ midfield – made up of Franck Kessie, Seko Fofana and Ibrahim Sangare – should help dominate the game against possibly passive opponents.
Cande usually uses a 4-3-3, but tends to change that approach to a back three against better opponents, which is expected against Ivory Coast on Saturday.
Mama Balde is expected to lead the line and if Djurtus are to shock the home side, the unfancied side’s hopes rest on the striker.
Samsunspor defender Nanu is a doubt for the Guinea-Bissau opener.
Ivory Coast possible starting lineup:
Fofana; Aurier, Diomande, Ndicka, Konan; Kessie, Fofana, Sangare; Krasso, Boga, Bamba
Guinea-Bissau possible starting lineup:
Mendes; Cande, Mane, Djalo; Mane, Semedo, Cassama, Rodrigues, Quizera; Gano, Balde
How to watch Ivory Coast vs Guinea-Bissau TV Channel AFCON 2024?
Here’s how to watch AFCON 2024 matches across selected areas of the world’s major regions:
|Fubo, beIN Sports Connect, Fanatiz
|beIN Sports Canada
Fubo Canada, beIN Sports Connect, Fanatiz
|Sky Sports, BBC Sport
|Sky GO, Now TV, BBC iPlayer
USA: The tournament will be available on beIN Sports with streaming options on Fubo.
Canada: BeIN Sports will provide broadcast coverage with Fubo Canada on streaming duty.
UK: Selected matches will be available on Sky Sports services with streaming available via Sky GO and Now TV. BBC Sport will also be covering designated games at the tournament.
Australia: BeIN Sports will provide broadcast coverage and streaming services for the tournament.
India: Streaming service FanCode is the place to go for AFCON 2024 matches.