Algeria and Cote d’Ivoire are facing off in the Quarter-Finals of the Africa Cup of Nations tonight. This will be an opportunity for rossoneri fans to see AC Milan’s Franck Kessie go head-to-head with a potential teammate in Ismael Bennacer. Here’s a preview of the showdown:
Algeria Running Rampant
Algeria have had an incredible run in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations to this point. They have recorded 4 wins in 4 games with convincing victories driven by the attacking philosophy of their coach Belandi. The Desert Foxes have not conceded a single goal in at the tournament and are huge favourites to lift the cup. Empoli’s Bennacer, Napoli’s Ounas and Manchester City’s Mahrez have been key cogs in the impressive squad that has scored 9 goals and beaten the likes of Senegal and Guinea in the process. Algeria have not made it to the semi-finals since 2010 and have won the Cup only once in 1990.
Cote d’Ivoire Surviving the Challenge
Cote d’Ivoire have been rather lucky in their campaign. They west African side have had a bumpy road coming in second in their group after registering two victories and a loss to Morocco in the group stage before scrapping 1-0 past Mali in the round of 16. Les elephants have been very conservative and defensive under Ibrahim Kamara. The games against Morocco and Mali exposed the frailty of the team but they have managed to advance due to the amazing individual talent available on the team. Crystal Palace forward Zaha scored the lone goal last time out and the likes of Lyon’s Cornet and Milan’s Kessie have stepped up. Cote d’Ivoire have lifted the cup twice in 1992 and 2015.
Kessie v. Bennacer
The game is a must watch for Milan fans to check out current midfielder Kessie take-on one of Milan’s rumoured acquisitions for the summer Bennacer. The two midfielder have occupied defensive midfield roles on tactically diverse teams and both have had a great tournament to this point. Bennacer has had a breakout with Algeria as he adopted the regista role and has dictated the play for the Desert Foxes and impressed as a deep lying playmaker. He has registered two assists and has won 2 Man of the Match Awards as well as being named the Best Player of the Group Stages by the Federation. Kessie similarly has been very impactful playing as a defensive midfielder alongside Serey Die making a formidable partnership that has ensured Ivory Coast have been strong defensively and imposing on the counter. Kessie came through big in the final group stage game where Les Elephants needed a win and he provided three assists in a 4-1 win over Namibia. As with Milan, Kessie is a permanent fixture and has played every single minute in the tournament. This game will be interesting to see the two take each other on as Bennacer’s role has been to find space and create from the midfield while Kessie has been shutting down attacks and hitting hard on the counter. Will be a good game to watch as one of the two will progress with a real shot at the final while the other will go home tonight.
The Game Details
Suez Stadium - Suez, Egypt
Quarter Finals, 2019 Total AfCON
Where You Can Watch The Game?
UK - Eurosport UK
USA - beIN Sports USA
Italy - DAZN
Nigeria - SuperSport
Canada - beIN Sports Canada
Who Will Win and Qualify for the Semi’s?
This poll is closed
Kessie & Cote d’Ivoire
Bennacer & Algeria