Ivory Coast are the favourites heading into their match against Algeria. Photo: Hassan Ammar/AP Photo

SUEZ – When Algeria take on the Ivory Coast in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) quarterfinals in Suez on Thursday, it will be the eighth time the two sides lock horns in the continent’s flagship football competition.

In the previous seven Afcon encounters, the Ivorian Les Elephants emerged victorious on three occasions (1968, 1992 and 2015), Algeria’s Les Fennecs with two wins (1990 and 2010) and there have been two draws (1988 and 2013).

The last encounter between the two teams was in the quarterfinals in 2015 in Equatorial Guinea, which saw the Ivory Coast winning 3-1 on their way to eventually winning the title.

Wilfried Bony gave the Elephants the lead after 26 minutes in that match, before Hilal Soudani equalised for Algeria in the 51st minute. Bony restored the lead after 68 minutes, and, deep into injury time, Gervinho confirmed Les Elephants’ win.

When they clash in Suez on Thursday, there will be 11 players surviving from the 2015 clash – six Ivorians and five Algerians.

For the Ivory Coast, Bony, goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohou, Serge Aurier, Wilfried Kanon, Geoffrey Serey Die and Max Alain Gradel.

And, for Algeria, goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi, Aissa Mandi, Yacine Brahimi, Sofiane Feghouli and Riyad Mahrez.

Also, four Algeria players, now in the 2019 squad, were on the bench in 2015: Izzedine Doukha, Rafik Halliche, Mehdi Zeffane and Islam Slimani.

Will any of these 15 players be on the pitch four years later? The answer will be revealed on Thursday. 

African News Agency (ANA)