England vs Ivory Coast
High-flying England will be looking to maintain their impressive run of form when they take on underperforming Ivory Coast at Wembley Stadium in an intriguing international friendly.
England came from behind to beat Switzerland 2-1 last time out to take their unbeaten run to 21 matches (W17, D4), setting an unprecedented feat in the country’s history. It’s been a while since the ‘Three Lions’ met an African nation, last featuring in such a match-up at the 2018 World Cup when they defeated Tunisia 2-1. Gareth Southgate’s men are now unbeaten in their last 19 meetings with countries from the world’s second-largest continent (W13, D6). The abovementioned win against the Swiss means that England have only lost once in their last 22 international fixtures at Wembley (W18, D4). Defensively robust, they conceded under 1.5 goals in each of those 22 matches, which has been the case in their last 21 internationals.
In the meantime, Ivory Coast squandered a 1-0 lead against France last time out as Aurelien Tchouameni’s last-gasp winner handed ‘Les Blues’ a 2-1 win. The Ivorians now face the prospect of losing back-to-back international games for the first time since a run of three consecutive defeats in January 2018. Excluding their underwhelming 2021 Africa Cup of Nations campaign in January, the ‘Elephants’ have lost their last two internationals on foreign soil by a single-goal margin. However, Ivory Coast could post a genuine attacking threat at Wembley after getting on the scoresheet in four of their last five matches across all competitions. But with only two clean sheets from their previous nine internationals, the visitors will be keen to improve at the back.