Wednesday, January 25, 2012

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26.01. (Thu) 20:00 Ivory Coast - Burkina Faso

2010 FIFA World Cup,An Ivory Coast fan enjoys the atmosphere,Brazil v Ivory Coast(Getty Images)



Lolo, K Toure, Bamba, Tiene
Gosso, Y Toure, Tiote
Kalou, Drogba, Gervinho

Tall, Koulibaly, B Kone
D Kone, Koffi, Rouamba, Kabore, A Traore
Pitroipa, Dagano
It was a cagey game played under uncertain circumstances the last time these two teams met in Cabinda, Angola at the 2010 tournament. Cote D’Ivoire captain Didier Drogba had famously exclaimed that the Burkina Faso team packed 10 men at the back as their opening group game ended goalless.
This time around, the Elephants have already tasted victory in their first match against Sudan with the Chelsea forward getting the lone goal with a header. The Stallions, on the other hand, lost their opening encounter 2-1 to Angola due in a big part to poor defending.
Paulo Duarte’s men know that another loss in this game will see his team exit the tournament, another first round implosion that will hardly do their country’s image any good after “school boy errors” in their opening game, according to the trainer.
To remain in the competition, the Stallions will need to tighten their defence against the marauding Ivorian attack that consists of highly rated Drogba and Chelsea team-mate Salomon Kalou as well as Arsenal’s Gervinho. The Burkinabe have their work cut out for them having already lost midfielder Abdou Razak Traore due to passport problems.
Though the Elephants might have played below par in their opening game against Sudan, they will surely look to get better as the competition progresses and Francois Zahoui’s men will present a tough challenge for their west African neighbours.

  • Ever since their fourth place finish at the 1998 Afcon which they hosted, Burkina Faso have not made it past the first round in four appearances.
  • As Africa’s best team at the moment (18th overall), Cote d’Ivoire rank 48 places above their opponents, who are number 66 on the Fifa rankings.
  • Burkina Faso midfielders Djakaridja Kone and Abdou Razak Traore were both born in Abidjan, the Ivorian capital.
  • There will be three players from English side Chelsea when the teams line up on Wednesday. The better known Drogba and Kalou as well as young Burkinabe midfielder Bertrand Traore, who at 16, is the youngest outfield player in the competition.
  • Didier Drogba’s goal against Sudan was his 52nd international strike and he will have the opportunity of increasing his haul in this game.
The Elephants are expected to continue in their stride and nick this tight encounter against their neighbours.
Editor's Prediction
Cote d'Ivoire 2-0 Burkina Faso