The Warm-Up; Ivory Coast vs Algeria (Match 28)

Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast

VS

Algeria
Algeria

Date: February 1st, 2015

Venue: Nuevo Estadio De Malabo

City: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

Time: 21:30 (CAT)

Form Guide: (Afcon Results): Ivory Coast DDW

January 20th: Ivory Coast 1 – 1 Guinea

January 24th: Ivory Coast 1 – 1 Mali

January 28th: Cameroon 0 – 1 Ivory Coast

Form Guide: (Afcon Results): Algeria WLW

January 19th: Algeria 3 – 1 South Africa

January 23rd: Ghana 1 – 0 Algeria

January 27th: Senegal 0  – 2 Algeria

The Grand Stand Prediction:

When the group stages conclude and the quarterfinal fixtures are released, there is always one encounter that immediately jumps up at every football fan, a fixture that makes the neutrals salivate, that promises to be a thrilling bout and a top class advert for African football. Ivory Coast vs Algeria has the look of one such fixture, with the team ranked number one in Africa (Algeria) taking on the number three side. These two sides were, before the tournament began, both expected to go the distance, and many football fans would have predicted that this would be the final.

Algeria, who finished behind Ghana in Group C, have been hailed as one of the more exciting teams we have seen during the tournament, and they will be hoping to carry that form through against the Ivorians. Wins against Senegal and South Africa have shown the Algerians’ ability to show stability, balance, teamwork and when necessary, mental strength and character to recover from conceding first.  The Ivory Coast, on the other hand, will come into this encounter feeling that despite finishing top of their group, the set of results could have had a better look about them. Two draws and a win saw them finish unbeaten, but the current group of players, who have over the years played under enormous pressure to succeed, will feel as though chances for them to deliver their county’s first Afcon trophy since 1992 are resting on this edition of the tournament.

Despite both teams having enough hunger and talent to make this a classic encounter, experience has taught us that when two giants take each other on there is a tendency to stay balanced and reserved and wait for the right moment to attack, leading to them cancelling each other out. While this would be a shame for a fixture like this, it could very well be the case. The match might be decided by a moment of individual brilliance, or a mistake from a lapse in concentration, or, as with the Equatorial Guinea clash, a somewhat controversial referring decision. The lottery of a penalty shootout can’t be ruled out either. It will be interesting to see which of these teams emerge victorious, more so for the neutrals than for followers of both teams, whose biggest challenge will be keeping all their nails in order.

Scoreline Predictions: #GSVPredictor

@GSV_UncleBob’s Prediction: Ivory Coast 0 – 1 Algeria

@GSV_Sportsmano’s Prediction: Ivory Coast 1 – 1 Algeria (Algeria 5-4 on Penalties)

@MaryGSV’s Prediction: Ivory Coast: 1 – 2 Algeria

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