Africa Cup of Nations preview: Ivory Coast

Africa Cup of Nations preview: Ivory Coast
© PA Photos
Sports Mole previews the Africa Cup of Nations chances of the Ivory Coast, who are ranked the favourites with the bookmakers.

There is a school of thought that the Ivory Coast should have more Africa Cup of Nations titles than their solitary success back in 1992.

One glance at their squad for this tournament and years gone by make that opinion hard to dispute.

The man charged with delivering the trophy back to the nation this time around is former France international Sabri Lamouchi, who only retired from playing three years ago.

His appointment in 2012 was initially met with criticism, but over the past few months the 41-year-old has begun to win over some of the doubters.

The Elephants reached this phase after their controversial encounter with Senegal was abandoned because of crowd trouble. The AFCON later allowed the Ivory Coast to progress 6-2 on aggregate.

Group: D

Players to watch out for:

Didier Drogba

Despite having advanced into his veteran years, Drogba showed during Chelsea's run to the Champions League and FA Cup last season just how valuable his presence is in major encounters. He is his country's leading goalscorer of all time, having found the net on 59 occasions. The form that he has shown with Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua this campaign has shown that he is not letting up just yet.

Yaya Toure

Very few players committed as much as Yaya Toure to Manchester City's charge to the Premier League title last season. He arrived in England from Barcelona with a reputation as a defensive midfielder. However, the 29-year-old scored nine times in all competitions during the last campaign as his conversion into an attacking midfielder looked to be complete. He has not scored for his country since February last year so no doubt he will be looking to put that right overt the coming weeks.

Previous best: Winners 1992

Odds outright to win: 13/8

Sports Mole says: Winners

CIty midfielder Yaya Toure celebrates the third goal in the 3-1 win over Newcastle on December 15, 2012
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