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AFCON 2023 FINAL: Dangerous key players to watch for as Cotê d’Ivoire face Nigeria

AFCON 2023 FINAL: Dangerous key players to watch for as Cotê d’Ivoire face Nigeria

In few hours, hosts Cotê d’Ivoire will face off against one of African’s giants, Nigeria in the final of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2023.

The clash will draw the curtains down on the AFCON 2023 in what is expected to be an epic showdown.

Both Nigeria and Cotê d’Ivoire will be hoping to add to their trophy cabinet.

For Cotê d’Ivoire, this will be their third title should they record a victory against Nigeria. For Nigeria however, it is supposed to be the fourth.

CAFOnline looks at some of the key stars that will be instrumental for both sides ahead of the final.

Players to watch for Nigeria

Stanley Nwabali

The final wall of defense for the Super Eagles. Stanley Nwabali has been a revelation for the Super Eagles in Cote d’Ivoire, producing heroic saves that have seen him only concede one goal from open play enroute to the final.

The Chippa United keeper was also the hero of the day in the semi-final against South Africa where he saved two penalties to usher Nigeria into the final.

William Troost-Ekong

The Super Eagles skipper has provided great on-field leadership from the back. His experience and command as the last line of defense have proven to be crucial in the explosive Nigerian attack.

A man who is always ready to step up and take responsibility, Troost-Ekong is certainly one for the big occasion when the chips are down.

Victor Osimhen

The reigning African footballer of the year has played an excellent role for Nigeria. Despite not being able to find the back of the net as much as he would have liked, Victor Osimhen has been troublesome to defenders, also creating goalscoring chances, set pieces and penalties for his side.

The final presents the perfect platform for the hitman to close off the tournament in style and will be hoping to get a goal or two against the hosts.

Ademola Lookman

Ademola Lookman will certainly be looking at closing off an impressive tournament with one last star performance.

The dangerman has terrorized defenders with his speed, skill and impassive ability to find goals. Currently on three goals and hungry for more, Lookman is certainly a key figure for the Nigerians as they attempt a fourth continental title.

Players to watch for Cotê d’Ivoire

AFCON 2023 FINAL, Dangerous key players, Cotê d’Ivoire, Nigeria
PHOTO via CAFOnline

Sebastian Haller

He started playing from the knockout stage for Cotê d’Ivoire. Haller has been key for the hosts anytime he has been introduced.

He showed up perfectly in their semi-final game against D.R Congo by scoring the game’s only goal which qualified his team to the final.

Seko Fofana

The Al-Nassr FC star plays with so much passion for Cotê d’Ivoire, he has been the driving force in the middle throughout this tournament.

With his name written in the history books already as the first player to score in the CAF AFCON 2023, Fofana will be looking forward to making more history and hopefully clinch the trophy for Cotê d’Ivoire.

The hosts secret to having a great game on Sunday includes Fofana having a great time on the pitch.

Serge Aurier

The 31-year-old defender comes with lot of experience and has shown it on the pitch anytime he is selected.

Both on and off the pitch, Aurier has added a lot to Emerse Faé’s side throughout this competition.

He played in Cotê d’Ivoire’s last CAF AFCON final and knows what it takes to play in stages like this and even conquer it.

Simon Adingra

Adingra has been Cotê d’Ivoire’s main man from the bench causing problems for opponents in the tournament.

He came off the bench in their quarter-finals game to score against Mali and help them win the game.

The Brighton Hove Albion player gives Emerse Faé options on the bench and he will rely heavily on him in the finals.

Franck Kessié

Kessié has shown his quality for Cotê d’Ivoire throughout the tournament with great displays.

His late equalizer in the round of 16 and final penalty propelled the host to the quarter-finals after they struggled in the group stage.

With Nigeria’s all-round quality in the midfield, Kessié will be key for Cotê d’Ivoire in quest for a third title.




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