Ghana vs Ivory Coast: African Cup of Nations match preview

A look ahead to tonight’s Africa Cup of Nations Final at Estadio de Bata

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The Independent Football

Two 'golden generations' littered with world-renowned talent will line up against each on Sunday hoping to end their respective country’s dearth of African Cup of Nations titles.

Former Chelsea manager Avram Grant was only appointed as Ghana boss a few weeks before the tournament began but he has now lead the Black Stars to within touching distance of their first title in 33 years.

The perennial favourites Ivory Coast have only won the tournament once back in 1992, courtesy of an epic 11-10 penalty shootout triumph against tonight’s finalists Ghana. 

Playing without arguably their most famous export Didier Drogba for the first major competition for 13 years, the Ivorians seem to be peaking at just the right time with comprehensive 3-1 wins over Algeria and DR Congo in the last two rounds.

The impressive Ghanaians, four-time champions, steam-rolled their way through to this year’s final, scoring six goals without reply in their quarter and semi-final.

After losing in the final to unfancied Zambia in 2012, who were under the tutelage of current manager Herve Renard, the Elephants will hope the Frenchman’s experience can lead them to victory.

Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan, injured in the quarter-finals, could start tonight after recovering rather quickly from a hip problem but Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote will not feature for the Ivorians due to an ankle injury.

KICK-OFF: Sunday, 7.00pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Ivory Coast 3 (Gervinho, Tiene, Drogba) Ghana 1 (Gyan), African Nations Cup, January 2010

Ghana 4 (Muntari, Owusu-Abeyie, Agogo, Dramani) Ivory Coast 2 (Sanogo) African Nations Cup, February 2008

Ivory Coast 0 Ghana 0, African Games, February 2003

STATS…

Tallo Gadji Celi was born in the same year that his uncle Gadji Celi led Ivory Coast to their first ever African Cup of Nations title in 1992.

Both teams have won 14 times against the other, drawing 11.

Ghana have played the Ivorians more times than any other country in the tournament, winning five, losing three and drawing once.

Four brothers will be involved in the final, the Ayew and Toure brothers will appear for Ghana and Ivory Coast respectively.

The Elephants have the best shot conversion rate in the competition at 22 per cent. Ghana are third at 20 per cent. 

ODDS...

Ghana to win: 3.3

Ivory Coast to win: 2.5

Draw: 3.25

CLASSIC MATCH...

Ten years before the Ivory Coast won their solitary African Cup of Nations title in 1992, these two giants of the African game locked horns in the West African Nations Cup held in Benin in a tournament of seven teams.

Ghana went on to win the competition, beating Togo in the final, but not before they played out a thrilling 5-5 draw in the group stages, their highest scoring game to date.

TV: Live on ITV4/British Eurosport from 7pm.

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