MX23RW : Saturday, September 18 21:09:30| >> :600:4668781:4668781:
Jul 28, 2021 at 9am UK at Miyagi Stadium
Germany U23sGermany Under-23s
Ivory Coast U23sIvory Coast Under-23s
Lowen (73')
Arnold (30')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Henrichs (67' og.)
Kouame (1'), Keita (21')

Preview: Germany Under-23s vs. Ivory Coast Under-23s - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Olympic Games Men's Football clash between Germany Under-23s and Ivory Coast Under-23s, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Germany Under-23s take on Ivory Coast Under-23s in the Olympic Games on Wednesday, with the European side needing to win in order to progress to the knockout stages.

Ivory Coast U23s, meanwhile, will be assured of a place in the quarter-finals if they can avoid defeat.

Match preview

Germany coach Stefan Kuntz pictured at the Olympics on July 22, 2021© Reuters

After losing 4-2 to Brazil in their opening game at the Olympics, Sunday's test against Saudi Arabia at the Venue Nissan Stadium in Yokohama was essentially a must win one in terms of remaining in the competition.

Bayer Leverkusen's Nadiem Amiri and Eintracht Frankfurt's Ragnar Ache both struck in the first half, but the Germans were pegged back on both occasions by a brace from Sami Al-Najei.

After Amos Pieper was sent off in the 68th minute, Germany U23s would have feared the worst in terms of their destiny in the competition, especially knowing that a draw may not have been enough to realistically keep them in it.

However, Felix Uduokhai, who was called up to the senior national team squad on a few occasions during the 2020-21 campaign without making his debut, scored a crucial 75th-minute winner to keep his side firmly in the race for a place in the knockout stages.

Stefan Kuntz, who has managed the Under-21s since 2016 and has been handed the responsibility of coaching the Olympics squad, too, will be confident in his players delivering against Ivory Coast U23s on Wednesday.

Franck Kessie of Ivory Coast celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on July 22, 2021© Reuters

However, the African side will clearly be no pushovers, having beaten Saudi Arabia 2-1 before claiming an impressive 0-0 draw against Brazil on Sunday.

Admittedly, though, Ivory Coast hugely benefitted by Aston Villa man Douglas Luiz being controversially sent off after only 13 minutes, with VAR upgrading the on-field referee's initial yellow card to a red one on the basis that the midfielder had denied Max Gradel a clear goalscoring opportunity.

With the likes of Richarlison and Matheus Cunha in attack, the Small Elephants still had to be on their guard in transition, with both sides ultimately settling for a point which keeps them in the driving seats in Group D.

Should the worst happen against Germany on Wednesday and Ivory Coast find themselves knocked out of the competition, though, there may be questions asked as to how they did not get the better of a side which had a one-man disadvantage for almost the entire match.

Germany Under-23s Olympic Games Men's Football form:
  • L
  • W

Ivory Coast Under-23s Olympic Games Men's Football form:
  • W
  • D

Team News

Maximilian Arnold of Germany walks off the pitch after being shown a red card by referee Ivan Barton on July 22, 2021© Reuters

After being sent off in the opening defeat against Brazil, Maximilian Arnold is available for selection for Germany again after serving his suspension.

However, Pieper will replace him on the naughty step following his red card against Saudi Arabia, with Kuntz potentially concerned about a lack of discipline within his squad.

Jordan Torunarigha is likely to replace the Arminia Bielefeld defender alongside Uduokhai at the back, with Marco Richter an option to freshen up the front three.

Ivory Coast, meanwhile, clearly have fewer options - and perhaps less desire - to rotate than their forthcoming opponents.

Captain Gradel and AC Milan's Franck Kessie will carry the majority of their attacking burden, while Manchester United's Eric Bailly will again be tasked with holding things together defensively as the squad's three over-age players look to help secure their side the positive result which is required.

Germany Under-23s possible starting lineup:
Muller; Henrichs, Torunarigha, Uduokhai, Raum; Maier, Lowen; Ache, Amiri, Richter; Kruse

Ivory Coast Under-23s possible starting lineup:
Tape; Ouattara, Singo, Bailly, Dabila, I. Diallo; A. Diallo, Kouassi, Kessie, Gradel; Dao

SM words green background

We say: Germany Under-23s 2-1 Ivory Coast Under-23s

We expect Germany's greater experience and quality to ultimately pay off for them, but do not envisage victory coming easily.

The likes of Gradel and Amad Diallo could cause the Europeans huge difficulties in transition, but providing they maintain their discipline, Kuntz's side should have enough to get over the line.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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