Ivory Coast vs Guinea-Bissau Prediction: Host nation to open up with nervy win

 | January 12 | 

3 mins read

Alassane Ouattara Stadium Abidjan

Host country Ivory Coast kick off the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday night (KO, 20:00) with a game against Guinea-Bissau.

The Elephants are among the frontrunners to lift this year's trophy and add to their two previous titles, the latest of which came back in 2015.

Guinea-Bissau, meanwhile, are making their fourth consecutive appearance at the finals, but the African Wild Dogs have never progressed past the group stage before and face a tough battle to do so this year with Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea also in Group A.

Ivory Coast vs Guinea-Bissau Betting Tips:

  • Ivory Coast to win and under 2.5 goals @ 6/4
  • Draw/Ivory Coast half-time/full-time @ 5/2

Team News

Ivory Coast warmed up for African football's showpiece event with a 5-1 thrashing of Sierra Leone last Saturday, a game which saw captain Serge Aurier make his comeback after more than a month out through injury.

The Nottingham Forest defender will hope to start for his country at right-back alongside club teammate Willy Bolly, while two of Ousmane Diomande (Sporting Lisbon), Evan Ndicka (Roma) and Ghislain Konan (Al Feiha, on loan from Al Nassr) will likely join them in front of goalkeeper Yahia Fofana (Angers).

Franck Kessie (Al-Ahli), Seko Fofana (Al Nassr) and Ibrahima Sangare (Forest) form arguably the competition's strongest midfield, while head coach Jean-Louis Gasset has the likes of Sebastien Haller (Borussia Dortmund), Jonathan Bamba (Celta Vigo) and Jeremie Boga (Nice) to call on in attack.

Guinea-Bissasu's confidence heading into this one may have taken a knock after a 6-2 hammering at the hands of Mali last weekend, but their two goalscorers in that match - Mama Balde (Lyon, on loan from Troyes) and Carlos Mane (Kayserispor) - will provide a threat in attack.

Match Odds

Ivory Coast are huge favourites at 1/5 to start the tournament with a win on Saturday, while Guinea-Bissau are 14/1 to take the victory and the draw priced at 4/1.

Both teams to score is 2/1 and it's EVS for over 2.5 goals.

Ivory Coast to win and under 2.5 goals @ 6/4

The opening round of fixtures at AFCON are notoriously low-scoring affairs, with a measly 12 in as many games scored across the first round of matches in Cameroon in 2022.

Ivory Coast only managed a narrow 1-0 win over Equatorial Guinea in their first game at the 2021 AFCON, while Guinea-Bissau drew 0-0 with Sudan.

The host nation should win and keep a clean sheet on Saturday but it could be a tense start to proceedings for them, with their opponents likely to pull out all the stops to frustrate them.

Ivory Coast's class should eventually tell, though, and it's a sentiment shared by former Wimbledon and Nigeria defender Efan Ekoku, who has predicted a 2-0 scoreline.

Ekoku told Betfred: "They're not massive scorers right now, Ivory Coast. The pressure playing at home can be immense but I think they'll come through it, and comfortably."

Ivory Coast to win & under 2.5 goals vs Guinea-Bissau at 6-4

Draw/Ivory Coast half-time/full-time @ 5/2

Adding to the previous tip, taking a draw at half-time and backing Ivory Coast to emerge as winners of the second could be the smart play here.

Guinea-Bissau will keep things tight for as long as possible while the hosts may be content with playing the ball around and making their opponents huff and puff before turning the screw in the second.

Draw-Ivory Coast HT-FT in Ivory Coast vs Guinea-Bissau at 5-2

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

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