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Angola looking to top Ivory Coast


Ivory Coast and Angola will take to the field of Malabo’s stadium on Monday evening in what will be the final Group B match in the fight for the top of the table.

The match will kick-off at the same time as the other group match, Sudan v Burkina Faso, with the starting time set for 20:00 (SA, CAT, GMT+2).

The previous occasion when these two teams met in the African Cup of Nations saw the Elephants and Angolans play out a seven goal thriller in which the Ivory Coast triumphed 4-3.

Though it remains unlikely that such a score line should occur in this match, the Ivory Coast are blessed with the strongest attacking force in the tournament, with the likes of Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, and Gervinho all wearing the national jersey.

The Chelsea man, Kalou, has been dubbed fit for the match against the Palanacas Negras after he picked up an injury during the match against Burkina Faso.

With a quarterfinal spot already assured for Francois Zahoui’s side, Angola still have it all to play for as they sit two points behind Ivory Coast and are in need of a win to guarantee progression, as well as top spot.

Should Angola lose, they will need a favour from Burkina Faso by, at least, holding Sudan for a draw.

The trouble for Angola is that they will have to make do without their first choice shot-stopper, Carlos Fernandes, due to suspension, after he picked up two yellow cards.

Meanwhile, striker Nando Rafael, who made his debut as a substitute against Sudan, has been declared fit for the game following a shoulder injury he picked up, but they will also be looking to their leading front man Manucho.

The former Manchester United man has returned back to his best during the tournament, scoring the winner against Burkina Faso as well as netting a brace to secure a draw with Sudan.

With nothing less than the final victory acceptable for the Ivoirians, Angola will be out to prove the critics wrong by trying to surpass the quarterfinal mark.

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