Defending champions Ivory Coast begin the defence of their Afcon title with a game against West African rivals Togo on Monday.
The Ivorians defeated Ghana on penalties in the last edition to nick their second ever title and put to rest the perception that the ‘golden generation’ would never lift a trophy.
One of the continent’s in-form sides, Ivory Coast will look to start on a bright note by defeating Togo, who is led by Claude Leroy, a veteran of the Africa Cup of Nations. Place your bet on NaijaBet.com
Togo have the talismanic Emmanuel Adebayor in their squad, even though there will be concerns as regards his fitness as he hasn’t played any competitive football in nine month.
Ivory Coast – are the defending champions, having won the Afcon in 2015; it was their second title after 1992. The last team to win back-to-back titles were Egypt (3 in a row from 2006 to 2010).
This is Ivory Coast’s 22nd Afcon participation, a tally only bettered by Egypt (23).
Ivory Coast have lost only one of their last 16 games at the African Cup of Nations (W10 D5), it came against eventual winners Nigeria in their 2013 quarter-final.
The last time Ivory Coast lost their first game at an Afcon was in 1996 (0-2 v Ghana). Since then, they have won five and drawn four of their openers.
Togo – this will be’s their eighth Afcon appearance. They have only reached the knockout stages once in their previous seven participations, it was in 2013 when they went out in the quarter-finals.
Togo have lost six of their last eight games at the Afcon (W1 D1). They have also never won their opening game in the tournament (D3 L4).
The Ivory Coast are unbeaten against Togo at the African Cup of Nations.
Togo haven’t beaten the Elephants in any competition since December 1987 (1-0).
This is Michel Dussuyer’s fifth Afcon tournament as manager. The Ivory Coast boss has never progressed further than the quarter-finals (2004 and 2015, both with Guinea).