Ivory Coast vs DR Congo predictions: Hosts can march on to the final
- Ivory Coast have scored more than one goal in regular time just once at AFCON
- DR Congo have kept one clean sheet in their last six games
- Recommended bet: Ivory Coast to win and under 2.5 goals
Ivory Coast take on DR Congo in the second semi-final of the Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday evening, with the tournament hosts looking to lift the trophy for the third time in their history.
The Elephants last triumphed in 2015, while their opponents are also two-time champions, but the last of their pair of successes came back in 1974.
Ivory Coast failed to impress in the group stage, before ousting holders Senegal on penalties and then squeezing past Mali 2-1 after extra-time.
The Leopards drew all three of their group games, before a penalty shootout win over Egypt and a 3-1 quarter-final success against Guinea.
The Ivory Coast are set to be without the duo of Oumar Diakite and Odilon Kossounou after the pair were sent off in the dramatic win in extra-time against Mali.
Losing Diakite will be all the more frustrating for caretaker boss Emerse Fae, with the player handed a second yellow card for taking off his shirt celebrating his extra-time winner.
Sebastien Haller is pushing for a starting role up front after recovering from an ankle injury, while Willy Boly could come into the defence to replace the suspended Kossounou.
As for DR Congo head coach Sebastien Desabre, he has no fresh injury concerns following the Leopards’ comprehensive 3-1 win over Guinea in the quarter-finals.
It would be little surprise to see Desabre name the same starting line-up that saw off the National Elephants last time out.
The last time these sides met was back in October 2019, with Ivory Coast running out 3-1 winners of DR Congo in a friendly at the Stade de la Licorne in Amiens, France.
Both teams have only been involved in one match where there were more than two goals scored in normal time at this Africa Cup of Nations.
With a place in the final on the line, neither side will want to give too much away in the early exchanges at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan.
A cagey encounter can be expected once again for two sides that, as mentioned in the stats, have not seen a flurry in goals in most of their games at this major tournament.
The sacking of head coach Jean-Louis Gasset midway through the competition has proven to be the correct decision after a stuttering start in the group stages.
Ivory Coast have been finding ways to win since and have managed to hold their nerve when the pressure has been on their knockout games.
Expect the home crowd to give Ivory Coast the edge, but against a resilient DR Congo side don’t anticipate a one-sided affair at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara.
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