On Saturday, the Spain Under-23s will face the Ivory Coast Under-23s in the quarter-finals of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. For this final-four match at Miyagi Stadium, here is our football prediction – Spain vs Ivory Coast.
Both teams earned five points in the group stages. While Spain won the top place in Group C, Ivory Coast finished second in Group D.
- De la Fuente has used the same back four in the last two games. And these back four – Marc Cucurella, Pau Torres, Eric Garcia, Oscar Gil – may likely start again.
- They will be in front of the goalkeeper, who will be Simon on Saturday, mostly.
- Striker Oyarzabal and winger Dani Olmo were among those who played for Spain at this year’s Euros. They have been a constant in Japan this month, along with Barcelona midfielder Pedri.
- After Oyarzabal’s goal in the previous game against Australia, Mikel Merino scored Spain’s second goal in Tokyo. So, the midfielder, and Oyarzabal and Olmo, is likely to get another start this weekend.
Spain Under-23s possible starting lineup: Simon; Cucurella, Torres, Garcia, Gil; Pedri, Zubimendi, Merino; Olmo, Oyarzabal, Asensio
- Haidara used a 4-2-3-1 formation in their last game. So, AC Milan’s Kessie and Manchester United center-back Eric Bailly, who are Ivory Coast’s most influential players, will start again.
- Kouassi of the Ivory Coast served his one-match suspension against Germany in the final group game. So, he is preparing to return to the starting lineup against Spain.
- Two of Ivory Coast’s three goals in the group stages have been own goals. But Haidara may not worry just yet, as his team is putting the opposition defenders under pressure and forcing mistakes.
Ivory Coast Under-23s possible starting lineup: Tape; Diallo, Dabila, Bailly, Singo; Keita, Kouassi; Gradel, Kessie, Kouame; Dao
Football Prediction – Spain vs Ivory Coast
- Spain are dominating possession and registering five shots on goal. Still, Luis de la Fuente’s team began their Olympic campaign with a goalless draw against Egypt this summer.
- After Mikel Oyarzabal’s late goal at the Sapporo Dome, Spain earned their first group-stage win with a dominant performance. They won against Australia in the second round of fixtures (the football news).
- Ivory Coast was two points behind Brazil in Group D, against whom they lost their final group match (football prediction). So, they experienced one win and two draws in the first week of the Olympics.
Spain has been a low-scoring team this summer. They scored no more than one goal per game during the group stages.
Nonetheless, De la Fuente’s team will most probably dominate possession on Saturday, limiting Ivory Coast’s chances in front of goal.
Spain should capitalize on this by keeping a clean sheet, at least. So, it will he a low-scoring affair that Spain could win.