Former Super Eagles captain and Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel has predicted that the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will be between Ivory Coast and Nigeria.
In the latest episode of his podcast The Obi One, Mikel tipped the two West African nations he believes will make it to the title decider in Ivory Coast.
Both Nigeria and host nation Ivory Coast were drawn in Group A of AFCON 2023. The Super Eagles beat the Elephants 1-0 in their second group match.
When asked if he thinks it will be an Ivory Coast vs Nigeria final, Mikel said: “I think so. I was thinking about it the other day and I was thinking that we managed to beat them in the group stage and they were on the verge of leaving the tournament and all of a sudden you know, they are back in it.”
He added: “They have got a wind with them and now are playing pretty okay but not so well, but they have started to win games and now if they can manage to get to the final, who knows?”
Mikel won the AFCON with Nigeria in 2013 and believes the Super Eagles have what it takes to reach the final again this year. Ivory Coast will be hoping to capture a third title after previous wins in 1992 and 2015.
Ivory Coast defeated Mali 2-1 while Nigeria beat Angola to book their places in the AFCON semi-finals. Nigeria is set to face South Africa in the first semifinal on Wednesday evening while Ivory Coast have a clash with Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mikel’s prediction means the two teams would meet for the second time in the tournament having previously faced each other in the group stage.
Should Obi’s prediction come to pass, it will be a clash between the two Group A rivals again in the final.