🥊 Five key battles that could decide 🇨🇮 Ivory Coast vs Algeria 🇩🇿
Anything can and usually does happen in knockout football, and we're expecting an entertaining clash between two sides with intriguingly contrasting styles.
Which direct clashes on the pitch will affect the outcome and will the brightest stars come out to shine in Egypt.
Here are five key decisive battles.
Wonlo Coulibaly vs Riyad Mahrez 🎩
Wonlo Coulibaly, the inexperienced ASES Mimosas left-back, has a massive challenge on his hands against Manchester City flyer Riyad Mahrez. Mahrez is warming to the AFCON task nicely just at the right time and that could spell danger for the Ivory Coast.
Wilfried Zaha vs Youcef Atal ⚡️
Ivory Coast has a wily wide player of their own in the shape of Wilfried Zaha. The Crystal Palace man has been linked with a move to Arsenal in recent weeks but it hasn't distracted him at AFCON with Wilf scoring in each of his last two games. Nice right back Youcef Atal has had an outstanding tournament and his battle with Zaha should be an intriguing and possibly telling one.
Franck Kessié vs Adlène Guedioura 🦊
22-year-oke AC Milan midfielder Kessié has improved dramatically as a player this calendar year, becoming a key figure for the Serie A side. He’s notched theee assists at AFCON so far but he’ll come up against stubborn opposition in the form of 33-year-old defensive midfield shield Guedioura. Algeria’s use of a 4-1-4-1 formation sees Guedioura protecting the back four and its such a crucial job. This duel could be decisive.
Jonathan Kodjia vs Aïssa Mandi 🏋🏿♂️
Real Betis centre back Mandi has been one half a central defensive pairing that has yet to concede in the tournament, but he might be in for a physical confrontation with Aston Villa man Jonathan Kodjia here.
Nicolas Pépé vs Bensebaini 💪🏽
Lille forward Pépé has attracted widespread interest from major European clubs this summer but has yet to get going at AFCON in Egypt. Stade Rennes left back Ramy Bensebaini is a converted centre back and has the height and strength to match Pépé, but if the Ivorian can find his best form the the Algerian defender has a long night ahead of him.
Read more: Futaa Performance Index - Zaha vs Mahrez