Ivory Coast – World Cup 2010 – Betting

 

Manager: Sven Goran Eriksson
Captain: Didier Drogba
FIFA World Ranking: 25
World Cup Appearances: 1
Best World Cup: Round 1 – 2006 

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 Chelsea‘s very own offensive giant, Didier Drogba will captain Les Elephants into South Africa aiming to not only become the first nation to win a World Cup on African soil, but to also become the first African nation ever to lift the most coveted prize in international football – The FIFA World Cup. 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.

The team sporting their famous party orange colours will be enjoying just their second feel of a World Cup after their first appearance occurred just four 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‘. Will their experience of being in Germany’s Group of Death alongside Argentina, Netherlands and Serbia & Montenegro serve them well as they aim to bypass the group stages of the competition for the very first time, reaching new heights in the process.

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 over in England. 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 South Africa 2010, we’ve done our homework and are pleased to say, we like what we see:

Didier Drogba, Chelsea’s most prolific forward and Ivory Coast’s inspirational leader. Drogba has been an integral cog in the Ivory Coast machine for more than eight years now, boasting one of the better scoring averages around; 66 Caps, 43 Goals. He plays the exact same role for his country that he does for Chelsea, 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’s definitely one of the best strikers on the block right now, while when he’s in top form and raced up the gears, some would even argue that Drogba isn’t just the best striker on the planet, he’s close to unstoppable. 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.

However, unlike most African teams, the Ivory Coast aren’t just a one man band, although Didier Drogba does often take the limelight with his goalscoring prowess. Even so, 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 Man City 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. Another defender well know and well liked in the Premier League is Arsenal’s Emmanuel Eboue, who like Toure isn’t afraid to bomb forward but also has the necessary defensive skills and know-how to compete against the very best. For those of you who associated with West Brom, Abdoulaye Meita is a regular in the Ivory Coast set up after making 49 appearances in defence, while Sol Bamba of Hibernian (Scotland) looks likely to travel with the squad as well.

The midfield in fairness isn’t where the magic happens but where Les Elephants get their all round solid feel to them, with Didier Zokora and Yaya Toure, brother of Kolo, providing a safety blanket for the defence in the holding roles, but like most of the Ivory Coast defence, these two are more than capable of striding forward and having their say in the final third, although goals have been rare for the pair.

Bakary Kone, Gervinho and Aruna Dindane all provide Eriksson with an abundance of pace on the flanks, but it’s the forward paring of Drogba and Kalou which is likely to pave the way for a successful campaign in South Africa, although the pair did only account for 8 of Ivory Coast’s 29 goals in qualifying which means Les Elephants aren’t just a one man band and that everyone has their role and maintains the standard set by influential captain, Didier Drogba.

 

Manager

The one thing you could argue is Sven Goran Eriksson, for all his off-pitch melodramatics with the English media, does pack a punch with his international experience, with Sven racking up six years of international football (Five years with the England senior team) while he’s a man which has been in the managerial business for a staggering 33 years, so for all his critics, Sven has certainly been around the block and tasted his fair share of highs as well as lows.

Of course, the first thing English fans think of when they here the almost dreaded name of Sven Goran Eriksson is his famous ‘sex scandal’ – Mainly because it’s cringe worthy stuff, however, proper die-hard English fans will often forget at first sight that Sven was the man paid to guide England to great heights as England coach and flopped badly, only reaching the quarter-finals in Japan/Korea 2002 World Cup after the hype back home demanded at least a semi-final appearance. If truth be told, despite being paid a staggering good wage, Sven massively disappointed during his spell as England coach while he left the same impression on Mexico, and after a year at the Mexico helm Sven was also giving the boot for failing to improve the international side. In fact, he left Mexico on their knees and in deep trouble in regards to how they were performing at the time.

Quite how he has managed to squirm his way into the Ivory Coast post we don’t yet know, probably a wife or two was involved somewhere, but either way, Sven is still a wise, knowledgable and tactically sound manager and for Les Elephants, isn’t all bad an appointment if we’re completely honest. Quite how Didier Drogba and the Toure brothers will take to him we aren’t too sure, while the fact he’s only had a matter of weeks to prepare the team and stamp his own flavour on them is a big concern of us.

 

Strengths

An intimidating offence fronted by Didier Drogba makes Ivory Coast one of the most formidable attacking forces in South Africa. An abundance of pace and strength makes for a rugged offensive set up, one which through qualifying steamrollered their opponents after scoring 29 goals in a lengthy 12 game qualifying procedure. Drogba was of course the star man overall after scoring 6 goals in 5 qualifiers, but it’s the sheer fact Les Elephants have goals in them all around the pitch, with Kone, Kalou, Sekou Cisse Gervinho and Boubacar Sonogo all getting in on the scoring action in qualifying, highlighting the fact Ivory Coast will genuinely be an attack to be reckoned with.

Moreover, the pace at which they attack especially down the wings through Kone, Gervinho, Aruna Dindane and Sekou Cisse. It’s frightening at times at how at ease the Ivory Coast forwards play.

Weaknesses

There isn’t a whole lot wrong with the Ivory Coast if truth be told except that experience, despite some ageing players within their ranks, is missing as 2010 will be just their second appearance in the finals of a World Cup. Those who partook in Germany’s 2006 finals and flopped at the group stage will have taken some valuable experience out of a disappointing tournament, and that might serve them well in South Africa in the knowledge that the losing, defeated feeling isn’t something they want to experience any time soon.

Our second niggle is with the fact that despite scoring plenty of goals throughout qualifying, more than any other African nation, Ivory Coast haven’t yet pitted their big guns up against some of the world’s more equipped defences. In South Africa, they’ll come up against both Brazil and Portugal, both of whom will provide more than adequate testing of both their attack and their defending. Basically, while impressing in qualifying, the Ivory Coast are still exposed heading to South Africa in regards to the inferiority of the opponents they’ve faced in recent matches.

 

Ivory Coast Qualification for the World Cup

Sector: Africa

Group: E

Position: 1st

Win-Draw-Lose: 5-1-0

Goals Scored: 19

Goals Conceded: 4

Ivory Coast Qualifying statistics:

  • The Ivory Coast were one of just two nations in Africa to finish qualifying unbeaten, winning five, with their only dropped points coming away in Burkina Faso in a 1-1 draw. 
  • Despite playing just five times, Didider Drogba finished as Ivory Coast’s top goalscorer with six goals, averaging just over a goal a game.
  • Didier Zokora & Emmanuel Eboue played all of Ivory Coast’s 12 qualifiers, although it was Zokora who played every single minute of qualifying.
  • Ivory Coast certainly took full advantage of playing at home as they won all three of their group qualifiers, scoring 13 whilst keeping a clean sheet in all three.

 

World Cup Potential: 4/5

We feel the Ivory Coast could be a big player this summer, barring injuries to key players. They really do look fearful on the attack, with Didier Drogba spear heading their forward plays, while they performed particularly well in defence. However, there are reservations over that defence as they haven’t yet been tested by any real quality. However, should they pass the test posed by some of the worlds finest attackers then Sven Goran Eriksson’s side could be the surprise package next summer, 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: 40/1 – Bet365

Before the World Cup the odds on Ivory Coast were 40/1 

Official Ivory Coast World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers

Boubacar Barry (KSC Lokeren)

Daniel Yeboah (ASEC Mimosas)

Aristide Zogbo (Maccabi Netanya)

 

Defenders

Souleymane Bamba (Hibernian FC)

Arthur Boka (VfB Stuttgart)

Emmanuel Eboué (Arsenal)

Siaka Tiené (Valenciennes)

Kolo Touré (Manchester City)

Steve Gohouri (Wigan Athletic)

Benjamin Brou Angoua (Valenciennes)

Guy Demel (Hamburg SV)

 

Midfielders

Romaric (FC Seville)

Yaya Touré (Barcelona)

Didier Zokora (FC Seville)

Jean-Jacques Gosso (AS Monaco)

Emmanuel Koné (FC International Curtea de Arges)

Cheik Tioté (FC Twente Enschede)

 

Strikers

Didier Drogba (Chelsea)

Aruna Dindane (Portsmouth)

Seydou Doumbia (Young Boys Bern)

Salomon Kalou (Chelsea)

Abdulkader Keita (Galatasaray Istanbul)

Gervinho (OSC Lille)

 

last update: 18 June 2010

 

World Cup 2010 Ivory Coast Fixtures – Group G

Date - Time Group Match Result
15/06 - 15.00 G Ivory Coast - Portugal 0-0
15/06 - 19.30 G Brazil - North Korea 2-1
20/06 - 19.30 G Brazil - Ivory Coast 3-1
21/06 - 12.30 G Portugal - North Korea 7-0
25/06 - 15.00 G Portugal - Brazil 0-0
25/06 - 15.00 G North Korea - Ivory Coast 0-3

World Cup 2010 Group G - Table

Rank Team Matches / Points
1 Brazil 3 Matches / 7 Points
2 Portugal 3 Matches / 5 Points
3 Ivory Coast 3 Matches / 4 Points
4 North Korea 3 Matches / 0 Points

World Cup Fixtures and Results

 



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