Top five Ivory Coast players who can hurt Nigeria in AFCON final

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    The 2023 AFCON tournament has officially reached its final stage, with two teams ready to battle it out. A loss for either team will leave a bitter aftertaste and no team will want to be on the receiving end of that.

    The Super Eagles of Nigeria will take on The Elephants of Ivory Coast tomorrow, and Soccernet.ng looks into five Ivorian players Jose Peseiro’s men should watch out for as they possess the ability to hurt the team.

    1. Sebastien Haller

    The Borussia Dortmund striker was absent when both sides met in their group-stage clash. Since he returned to the team, he has given the Ivorians a physical presence up front, and the Super Eagles’ defence will have to be watchful. The 29-year-old also mentioned that he’s out to revenge for his team and will do whatever it takes to leave the pitch with a winners medal on Sunday.

    Sebastien Haller celebrating after opening the scoring for Ivory Coast against the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    2. Simon Adingra

    The Brighton and Hove Albion winger came on to change the game for the Ivorians against Mali and will be a threat on the flanks in the AFCON 2023 final. Capable of playing on the right and left wing, his versatility can be used to open the Nigerian defence.

    Simon Adingra celebrating after scoring against Mali.

    3. Willy Boly

    The Nottingham Forest central defender is a threat in the air. At the back, he’ll be a force to reckon with alongside Roma’s Evan Ndicka, and it’ll be interesting to see how both centre-backs pair up against Victor Osimhen. He poses a huge threat from set-pieces and Jose Peseiro’s men will need to be alert of the 33-year-old defender.

    4. Frank Kessie

    The Al-Ahli central midfielder has been ever-present for Ivory Coast in the AFCON 2023 tournament. His physicality has made an enormous difference and his runs bombing forward will be something that the Super Eagles should be wary of.

    5. Seko Fofana

    In the last clash between Nigeria and Ivory Coast, Seko Fofana was a threat from distance. His long shots and strides in the midfield pegged the Super Eagles back. His performances in the tournament have dipped a little since then, but it doesn’t take anything away from his abilities in the centre of the park.

    Seko Fofana celebrating alongside Ibrahim Sanger after scoring for Ivory Coast

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