Ivory Coast vs Central African Republic - The Elephants to outclass the visitors

Home team set to make superior quality count
Ivory Coast should have too much quality for Central African Republic (Getty Images)
Ivory Coast should have too much quality for Central African Republic (Getty Images)

Ivory Coast vs Central African Republic Match Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips


Ivory Coast will attempt to secure their second win in Group H of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers when they host Central African Republic at the Stade Bouake. The Ivorians have a great record at home and should comfortably see off the visitors.

Ivory Coast


The Elephants went away to Rwanda to secure a 2-1 victory in their previous fixture in the AFCON qualifiers. They took a two-goal lead through Jonathan Kodjia and Max Gradel and were able to see out the win despite a late effort from the hosts.

Ibrahim Kamara's team did not start their qualifying campaign on the best note as they suffered a 3-2 defeat at home to Guinea in their opening fixture. However, the win over Rwanda means they are now second in the group behind the Guineans who have maximum points after two matches.

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has been recalled to the squad after missing the clash in Rwanda due to personal reasons. The 25-year-old has been in great form in the Premier League and should start on Friday alongside the likes of John Michael Seri and Max Gradel who have also impressed at their clubs.

Ivory Coast forward Wilfred Zaha makes a return after missing last qualifying match (Getty Images)

Central African Republic 


The Wild Beasts suffered a 1-0 defeat away at group leaders Guinea in their last fixture in the campaign. They set themselves up for containment and held out for long stretches of the match before eventually conceding midway through the second half.

Raoul Savoy's team are still third on the table, level on three points with Friday's hosts thanks to a 2-1 victory over Rwanda in their opening match in the series. They have however been inconsistent in their recent outings having claimed just two wins in their last six fixtures.

Valencia midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia has been included in Savoy's squad for the double header after swapping allegiances from France last month. The 25-year-old was eligible to make the switch under FIFA statutes and could be set to make his debut on Friday.

Geoffrey Kondogbia could be in line to make his first appearance for the Central African Republic (Getty Images)

Head-to-Head 


There are no previous meetings between Ivory Coast and Central African Republic.

Match-Up 


The Ivorians have an exciting front three of Zaha, Gradel and Kodjia, all of whom have been in great form heading into the clash. Their pace, power and movement should be too much for the likes of Fernander Kassai and Thibault Ban to handle.

Foxi Kethevoama is the all-time leading scorer for CAR and usually carries the attacking threat in the team. However, the striker is unlikely to get much joy against the duo of Eric Bailly and Mamadou Bagayoko.

Key Statistics


  • Ivory Coast have won 8 of their last 12 home matches (AFCON Qualifiers).
  • Ivory Coast have seen Over 2.5 goals in 9 of their last 12 home matches (AFCON Qualifiers).
  • Central African Republic have lost 6 of their last 8 away matches (AFCON Qualifiers).
  • Central African Republic have seen Over 2.5 goals in 5 of their last 8 away matches (AFCON Qualifiers).

Verdict


Ivory Coast have plenty of quality in their team and should completely overwhelm the visitors on Friday. They should claim a comfortable win in this one.

Best Bet: Ivory Coast Win & Over 2.5 goals @ 2.19 - 3 Units
Handicap Bet: Ivory Coast -2 @ 2.80 - 2 Units
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Eric Smith 12 October 2018

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