Ivory Coast – World Cup 2014 – Betting

Ivory Coast

Manager: Sambri Lamouchi
Captain: Didier Drogba
FIFA World Ranking: 17
World Cup Appearances: 2
Best World Cup: Round 1 – 2006, 2010

Ivory Coast Team Profile

The Ivory Coast, or Côte d’Ivoire as they are sometimes known, have taken over the African powerhouse mantle from the likes of Cameroon & Nigeria and have rapidly become a force to be reckoned with in International football. Spearheaded by former Chelsea players Didier Drogba who will captain Les Elephants into Brazil 2014.  Some, many in fact, see the Ivory Coast as the only African team likely to make any serious in roads during the summer, with their powerful options all around the pitch making them one of the most complete teams on the circuit, let alone in their own continent. However, that has been said about them in previous appearances and they haven’t lived up to their hype.

The team sporting their famous party orange colours will be enjoying just their third feel of a World Cup after their first appearance occurred just eight years ago in Germany. Very few actually knew what the Ivory Coast were actually about back then, and despite exiting at just the group stage of the tournament they were already shaping up as one of the more promising nations, a team everyone would keep a close eye on in South Africa the following tournament. So, it was somewhat fitting that with all the expectation surrounding them, Les Elephants would receive yet another immensely difficult draw, once again being thrown in at the deep end with the ‘Group of Death‘  They have a decen thcance of progress this time around, being drawn aginast Colombia, Greece and Japan.

Nickname: Les Elephants

Ivory Coast Key Players

The Ivory Coast have seemingly come from nowhere but signs of their existence have been all around us, with several of their big names, their stars players plying their trade around Europe. In fact no less than six of their regular starters strut their stuff in the English Football League’s, so the fact Les Elephants have crept up on us from out of the blue is our own fault for not doing sufficient amount of research. This time, ahead of Brazil, we’ve done our homework and are pleased to say, we like what we see:

Didier Drogba, their most prolific forward and Ivory Coast’s inspirational leader. Drogba has been an integral cog in the Ivory Coast machine for more than a decade  now, boasting one of the better scoring averages around; 99 Caps, 63 Goals. He plays the exact same role for his country that he does for his club Galatasaray, leading from the front with his muscular and, dare we say it, awe-inspiring figure, smashing his way through even the strongest of defences. He isn’t as quick around the box as he once was, having turned 36.

Still his rangy, muscular figure; standing in at 6ft 2in, allows him to hold the ball up without much of a fuss from the opposing defenders, while he also towers above most defenders from crosses. The strength of the guy is immense, often racing through the penalty area without a flinch, but it’s been his ability to score not only with ease but with alarming regularity which has given Drogba the reputation he has today of being one of the world’s most feared strikers.

Les Elephants are actually a nifty little outfit and boast some uniquely gifted and highly talented individuals all across the field. In defence they have Kolo Toure; a Liverpool defender/midfielder who’s not only well equipped to defend against the some of the best forwards in the world, he can also stride forward and make a real impact in the attacking third of the pitch.

But Manchester City’s Yaya Toure is perhaps the key figure for the country. He is one of the best midfielders in the world, a tough, rampaging and intimidating figure in the centre of the park, and he has a tremendous eye for goal. He is the fulcrum of the Ivory Coast midfielder, and whether it is tracking back or throwing his weight into attack, he is a massive asset.

Manager

The relatively unknown Sabri Lamouchi, a former midfielder for Marseille, Parma, Monaco and Inter Milan is the man in charge. THis is his first ever managerial job, taking over in 2012. Born in France but of Tunisian descent he made twelve appearances for France during his career. Not a lot of managerial history there clearly and the top job with the Ivory coast is a bit of a merry go round, so don’t expect to see him sticking around if they don’t get out of the group stage.

Strengths

An intimidating offence on paper, spearheaded by Didier Drogba makes Ivory Coast one of the most formidable attacking forces in Brazil. At least it should be. Mixing things up alongside the raw power of Drogba are the established presences of Salomon Kalou, Drogba team mate at Chelsea for so many years, former Arsenal man Gervinho and Swansea’s Wilfried Bony. So they do have the look of goals in them, especially when you throw Yaya Toure into the mix and they can also call upon Arouna Kone and young Everton star Lacina Traore. Hopefully the attack will get its chance to shine, and there is quality in the midfield to make it happen.

Weaknesses

There isn’t a whole lot wrong with the Ivory Coast on a whole to be honest. The inexperience of the manager could be a costly weakness for them however. The thing about the Ivory Coast is that they never quite seem to play to their strengths, which is getting forward without fear. Hopefully they’ll just play their natural game because more often than not we have seen them just bogged down into below par performances and not live up to their potential.

Ivory Coast Qualification for the World Cup

Sector: Africa

Group: C

Position: 1st (won play off 4-2 against Senegal)

Win-Draw-Lose: 4-2-0

Goals Scored: 15

Goals Conceded: 5

World Cup Potential: 3/5

We feel the Ivory Coast could be a big player this summer, barring injuries to key players. They really do look a decent force on the attack, with Didier Drogba spearheading their forward plays, while they performed particularly well in defence. However, there are reservations over that defence as they haven’t been tested by any real quality for a while. Could be a surprise package this summer if they can get over the first hurdle of getting out of the group, although, most people now know of the talent surrounding the Ivory Coast now, so perhaps it won’t be much of a surprise when they do perform well.

Ivory Coast World Cup Betting Odds

Ivory Coast to win the World Cup: 125/1 – Bet365

Before the World Cup the odds on Ivory Coast were 125/1

Ivory Coast World Cup 2014 Fixtures – Group C

Date Time Fixture Result
Sa 14th June 17.00 Colombia v Greece 3:0
Su 15th June 02:00 Ivory Coast v Japan 2:1
Th 19th June 17.00 Colombia v Ivory Coast 2:1
Th 19th June 23.00 Japan v Greece 0:0
Tu 24th June 21.00 Japan v Colombia 1:4
Tu 24th June 21.00 Greece v Ivory Coast 2:1

 

World Cup 2014 Group C Table

Pos Team P W D L GD Pts
1 Colombia 3 3 0 0 9:2 9
2 Greece 3 1 1 1 2:4 4
3 Ivory Coast 3 0 1 2 4:5 3
4 Japan 3 0 1 2 2:6 1

World Cup Fixtures and Results

 

 



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