Ivory Coast vs. DR Congo / African Cup of Nations – in this derby in the second round of Group C of the African Nations Cup, DR Congo is in a somewhat more favourable situation, because they celebrated in the first round with 1-0 against Morocco, while the current champion of Africa, Ivory Coast, played only 0-0 against Togo on the same day. It only tells us that the popular “Elephants” are now under much more imperative, especially because they are awaiting another duel with the always unpleasant Morocco, while on the other hand, the team of DR Congo would probably be more than satisfied with a draw on Friday night. Otherwise, these two teams have met two years ago in the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations and then the “Elephants” celebrated with 3-1, while in qualifiers for this competition, both teams made victories away. Begins: 20.01.2017. – 17:00 CET
As we have already said in the introduction, Ivory Coast is welcoming this next duel with two points less on the account, which means that they have to take some more risks in their game from the start. Namely, this was expected from coach Dussuyer's players in the first round against Togo, when they were the favourites, but they obviously had no solution against the classic bunker of their opponents, although they appeared almost at full strength.
The Dussuyer has fielded two strikers, Zaha and Kodjia, who this season played great against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa, while there was also the experienced national team member Hertha Kalou, but after they failed to make anything serious, Bony and Gradel got the opportunity at the very finish, which again did not make any significant changes. This is why we believe that now against the team of DR Congo, Dussuyer will again send the same starting lineup as he did against Togo, but this time with a lot more offensive approach from the players from midfield.
Probable lineups Ivory Coast: Gbohouo – Aurier, Bailly, Kanon, Traore – Kessie, Die, Seri – Zaha, Kodjia, Kalou
Unlike the current African champions, who won only one point against Togo in the first round, the team of DR Congo has made a great job in a duel with Morocco, because they in the end celebrated with 1-0. Otherwise, that only goal was the work of strikers Kabananga, which later got injured and was therefore replaced by experienced Mbokani, while the same situation happened with defender N'Sakalo, who was replaced by Mutambala, but he very soon got a yellow card and abandoned his teammates in the last 10 minutes of the match.
But they have still overcome this successfully, so they can now a lot more relaxed get in this duel with the “Elephants”, which are otherwise their big debtors from the last African Cup of Nations, so they will not lack motivation in any case. However, they will certainly be handicapped by the absence of even two defenders but young Ikoko will certainly cover that position, while we expect Mbokani this time from the first minute in attack, given that Bolasie and Afobe have not arrived at this championship due to injuries.
Probable lineups Democratic Republic of Congo: Matampi – Ikoko, Tisserand, Zakuani, Mpeko – Mbemba, Bokadi, Mulumba – Mubele, Mbokani, Bakambu
Ivory Coast vs. DR Congo PICK
As we have already said, the current African champions are awaiting this match of the second round with two points less than the team of DR Congo, it is clear that they are now only interested in victory, especially because they will have another tough match against Morocco in the third round.
Pick: Ivory Coast wins
Odds: 1.90 at betsson (down to 1.82 can be played)