The hosts shook off any pre-AFCON nerves to make a solid start on home soil in Abidjan on Saturday night, following the opening ceremony with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau secured courtesy of an early goal from Seko Fofana and Jean-Philippe Krasso's second-half effort.
Injury-hit Nigeria couldn't follow suit in their own Group A opener on Sunday, held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by giant-killers Equatorial Guinea as they needed a quick-fire equaliser from star striker Victor Osimhen to spare embarrassment and failed to take advantage of their other chances.
The Super Eagles know they will have to improve sharply here in what is set to be a decisive heavyweight fixture in the battle to win the group.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Ivory Coast vs Nigeria is scheduled for a 5pm GMT kick-off today on Thursday January 18, 2024.
The match will take place at Alassane Ouattara Stadium - AKA the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpe - in Abidjan.
Where to watch Ivory Coast vs Nigeria
TV channel: In the UK, today's game will be televised live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event, with coverage beginning at around 4:55pm.
Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers can also watch the contest live online via the Sky Go app.
Live blog: You can follow all the AFCON action today via Standard Sport’s live blog.
Ivory Coast vs Nigeria team news
Ivory Coast XI: Y. Fofana; Aurier, Diomande, Ndicka, Konan; Kessie, Sangare, S. Fofana; Boga, Krasso, Kouame
Subs: Seri, Singo, Kossounou, Bamba, Konate, Boly, Diakite, Gradel, Pepe, B. A. Sangare, Diallo, Amani
Nigeria XI: Nwabali; Troost-Ekong, Ajayi, Bassey; Aina, Onyeka, Iwobi, Sanusi; Chukwueze, Osimhen, Lookman
Subs: Moffi, Uzoho, Musa, Aribo, Samuel, Onyemaechi, Iheanacho, Simon, Onuachu, Awaziem, Omeruo, Nwadike
Ivory Coast vs Nigeria prediction
It wasn't the flashiest of performances from Ivory Coast against Guinea-Bissau, but they did more than enough to win with two very well-taken goals and will have gained huge confidence from that.
Backed by a passionate home crowd, Jean-Louis Gasset's side are a force to be reckoned with and have now scored 19 goals in their last five games, having hit the Seychelles for nine in a World Cup qualifier in November and also put five past Sierra Leone in their first warm-up friendly for AFCON.
Nigeria still boast a very strong squad despite seeing another continental campaign impacted heavily from the outset by injuries, but they very much flattered to deceive against Equatorial Guinea.
They have not won any of their last four matches now after losing to Guinea before the tournament and drawing World Cup qualifiers with minnows Lesotho and Zimbabwe, with pressure mounting on Portuguese head coach Jose Peseiro.
Ivory Coast to win, 1-0.
Head to head (h2h) history and results
Ivory Coast have the slight edge on head-to-head record, having won each of the last two meetings between the two nations - a 2015 friendly and at the 2013 African Nations Championship.
Ivory Coast wins: 9
Nigeria wins: 8
Ivory Coast vs Nigeria match odds
Ivory Coast to win: 11/10
Nigeria to win: 14/5
Odds via Betfair (subject to change).