Home  »     »   Ivory Coast vs Portugal – resolute Portugal can edge key clash

Ivory Coast vs Portugal – resolute Portugal can edge key clash

| 14.06.2010

Group G explodes into action with what could prove to be a play-off for second round qualification, when Ivory Coast meet Portugal at 3pm on Tuesday.

Portugal are 6/5 favourites to win the match, but Sven Goran Eriksson’s Ivorians will also back themselves to open their World Cup campaign with a victory at 23/10.

Ivory Coast are still clinging to the hope that their talismanic striker Didier Drogba can recover Lazarus-like from a broken elbow to lead their attack.

Drogba has had “successful” surgery on the injury and he is enticingly priced at 9/2 to complete his resurrection by scoring first in this match.

Having initially struggled during World Cup qualification, Portugal are now a team in excellent form as they have 12 wins and four draws from their last 16 matches.

Ivory Coast are also in good nick, with 12 wins in their latest 19 fixtures, and this tie seems destined to be absorbingly tight.

At 7/2, the favourite to open the scoring is Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who is also a tempting 16/1 to be the overall top scorer at the World Cup.

Portugal’s unexpected trump card, however, could be their defence. They have only conceded two goals in their last nine internationals, and with Real Madrid centre-back Pepe fit again, they will be a force at the back.

Carlos Queiroz’s Portugal are seen as outsiders for the World Cup at 25/1, despite being third in FIFA’s rankings.

With 9/2 World Cup contenders Brazil expected to win Group G and North Korea destined to be the whipping boys, this fixture should decide who joins the South Americans in the last 16.

Is this game too close to call? The draw is 23/10. See the full Ivory Coast vs Portugal market.

«
»

Author

Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.