SuperSport viewers on DStv and GOtv can look forward to action from the Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations 2021 in Cameroon, where the pick of matches in the third round of the Group Stage sees Ivory Coast face Group E rivals Algeria at the Japoma Stadium in Douala on the evening of Thursday 20 January 2022.
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This heavyweight battle at the Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations 2021 could be key in deciding the outcome of Group E, with both the Elephants and the Fennec Foxes having ambitions of topping the table to earn a theoretically ‘weaker’ opponent in the Round of 16.
“Ivory Coast are one of the tournament favourites and they have a lot of players playing in huge leagues,” said Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi. “They won the competition in 2015 and have the experience. The game will be difficult.”
Ivory Coast boss Patrice Beaumelle has similar sentiments: “Algeria are the reigning champions, we know the quality they have… they have proven it by winning the AFCON last time and the Arab Cup last month. But we also know our own quality and this will be a match of a very high level.”
Franck Kessie – The Milan player has emerged as one of the best central midfielders in Europe in the past couple of years and will hope to stamp his authority in the ‘engine room’ against Algeria.
Riyad Mahrez – The Manchester City winger will look to use his sublime left foot to its full and devastating effect in this crunch Group E clash against the Ivory Coast.
In head-to-head stats, Ivory Coast and Algeria have met in 24 matches across all competitions since 1965. The Fennec Foxes have claimed nine wins compared to eight for the Elephants, while seven games have been drawn.
The teams’ most recent meeting was in the quarterfinals of the 2019 AFCON, played in Suez in Egypt: the clash ended 1-1 after extra time, before Algeria won the shootout 4-3.
Battles to watch
Patrice Beaumelle v Djamel Belmadi – While Beaumelle is still looking to convince in charge of the Elephants, Belmadi is beloved in Algeria for the 2019 AFCON win and will look to further enhance his reputation in this tournament.
Wilfred Zaha v Youcef Atal – Zaha is likely to be deployed out on the left flank, which will bring him face-to-face with right-back Atal, who will need to be on top of his game to keep the Crystal Palace attacker tied down.
Eric Bailly v Islam Slimani – The Manchester United centre-back has seen little playing time at club level, but he’ll need to be on top of his game to quell the threat offered by the physically-imposing Slimani.
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Match broadcast details
All times CAT
Thursday 20 January
18:00: Ivory Coast v Algeria – LIVE on SuperSport Grandstand, SuperSport AFCON, SuperSport Maximo 360 and SuperSport GOtv Select 2