Nicolas Pepe and the Ivory Coast confirmed their qualification to next January’s Africa Cup of Nations with a win over Niger on Friday.
Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe completed the quartet of Gunners on track to participate at AFCON next January, as he helped Ivory Coast to a win over Niger.
The 3-0 victory put them top of the group on 10 points. Though that’s only three points clear of third-placed Madagascar with one game remaining, Ivory Coast have the head-to-head advantage if they finish level on points.
Pepe’s side won 2-1 against Madagascar in the home game and drew 1-1 away, so they’ll win the tiebreaker even if they lose their final game and Madagascar win theirs.
Ivory Coast will join Egypt (Mohamed Elneny), Ghana (Thomas Partey), and Gabon (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang) at the upcoming AFCON tournament. It takes place mid-season, leaving Arsenal without the four players for over a month if their countries keep progressing.
It looks like Mikel Arteta will be relying on Bukayo Saka and Willian to hold down the fort on the wings that month.