GROUP G: In just their second World Cup, can Ivory Coast deliver?

Ivory Coast are entering just their second World Cup finals so is it too early for them to really deliver on the world stage?

Ivory Coast are entering just their second World Cup finals so is it too early for them to really deliver on the world stage?

In 2006 in Germany, they won just one of their three group stage matches, losing to Argentina and Holland whilst defeating Serbia & Montenegro.

In 2010, they face a group of similar difficulty with Brazil and Portugal the teams they need to beat, or at least draw with, to move into the second phase.

North Korea should not pose too much of a threat but it is the might of the Brazilians and the skill of the Portuguese that may not allow the Elephants to do much more than compete in the initial stage of the tournament.

A lot rests on the shoulders of striker Didier Drogba who is recovering from surgery for a broken arm and without him it is hard to see where manager Sven-Goran Eriksson will get his goals from.

Unfortunately for the Swede, 2010 does not look like it will be kind to both himself and the Ivory Coast national team as an early exit beckons.

Ivory Coast

Playing schedule: Portugal (Port Elizabeth) June 15; Brazil (Johannesburg) June 20; North Korea (Nelspruit) June 25

Also known as: Les Elephants
Manager: Sven-Goran Eriksson (SWE)
Captain: Didier Drogba
Key players: Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue
Wildcard: Aruna Dindane
Player to watch: Gervinho
Most caps: Didier Zokora (79)
Top goalscorer: Didier Drogba (44)
FIFA ranking: 27
Qualifying: Top in CAF group stage.
Appearance: 2nd
Best result: Round of 16 – 2006

Ivory Coast squad

Goalkeepers

Boubacar Barry (KSC Lokeren)
Aristide Zogbo (Maccabi Netanya)
Daniel Yeboah (Abidjan)

Defenders

Benjamin Angoua (Valenciennes)
Arthur Boka (Stuttgart)
Kolo Toure (Manchester City)
Steve Gohouri (Wigan Athletic)
Siaka Tiene (Valenciennes)
Guy Demel (Hamburg)
Emmanuel Eboue (Arsenal)
Sol Bamba (Hibernian)

Midfielders

Didier Zokora (Sevilla)
Cheick Tiote (FC Twente)
Jean-Jacques Gosso (Monaco)
Romaric (Sevilla)
Emmanuel Kone (International Curtea de Arges)
Yaya Toure (Barcelona)
Abdul Kader Keita (Galatasaray)

Forwards

Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow)
Salomon Kalou (Chelsea)
Gervinho (Lille)
Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
Aruna Dindane (Lekhwiya)

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