The Africa Cup of Nations defending champions Algeria will get eliminated from the competition if they fail to win on Thursday against Ivory Coast at Omnisport Stadium in Douala.
For the Elephants, a draw will be enough to see them through to the knockout phase. They are currently top of Group E with four points that came from a win and a draw.
The Desert Foxes, who had come into the competition as favourites to make it to the latter stages after going 34 matches without defeat, have managed just one point from the two matches played so far.
The North Africans have struggled to score despite having talented players in the attacking department including Manchester City ace Riyad Mahrez.
|Game||Ivory Coast vs Algeria|
|Date||Thursday, January 20|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
|Online Streaming||TV Channel|
|DStv.com/DStv Now App https://www.showmax.com/eng/welcome/za||SuperSport TV's PSL channel 202/SuperSport TV's Variety 3 channel 208|
Squads & Team News
Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly might miss the game after a knock picked up in the 2-2 draw against Sierra Leone. He went out limping and no information has been relayed on the same.
Goalkeeper Ali Badra Sangare, who was at fault for Leone Stars' late equaliser, did not finish the game after picking up an injury. Just like Bailly, it is not yet clear whether he will be involved.
Apart from the aforementioned situations, the Elephants might stick with the same players who played in the game against Sierra Leone meaning Ajax attacker Sebastien Haller might once again lead the attack, with Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe and his counterpart from Crystal Palace Wilfried Zaha playing on the wings.
Meanwhile, the defending champions have not yet scored in the ongoing competition and will be desperate to do so against the West Africans.
West Ham United winger Saidi Benrahma, and Islam Slimani will be hoping to start on Thursday after starting from the bench in the team's goalless draw against Equatorial Guinea.
The only concern will be on Djamel Benlamri who did not finish the game after sustaining an injury. If he fails to recover, then Mehdi Tahrat might be given a chance.
Aissa Mandi, Rami Bensebaini, Youcef Belaili, Baghdad Bounedjah and Abdelkader Bedrane are a booking away from missing the next game if their team defies the odds to make it to the round of 16.
The two teams will be meeting for the ninth time in the competition. The West Africans have managed three wins with the North Africans managing two while three matches have ended in draws.
It will be the fifth time the teams are meeting in Afcon since 2010 which happens to be the most played fixture in that time alongside Ghana and Mali. Interestingly, the last four encounters between the two have produced 15 goals.
The Desert Foxes could fail to win all three of their group stage games at a single edition of the Afcon for the first time since 2017 when they managed two draws and a loss.
Ivory Coast have lost just two of their last 16 matches at the biennial competition, winning seven and drawing as many games, with both losses coming against Morocco in the 2019 and 2017 editions. The Elephants are unbeaten in their last five games in Afcon, winning three and drawing two.