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Ivory Coast vs Portugal – teams announced

| 15.06.2010

Didier Drogba is on the Ivory Coast bench for today’s Group G opener against Portugal, which kicks off at 3pm.

The Chelsea striker had feared that his entire World Cup was over when he broke his elbow during Ivory Coast’s recent friendly win against Japan, but he seems to have healed miraculously.

Despite Drogba’s dramatic resurrection, Ivory Coast coach Sven Goran Eriksson has opted for a three-pronged attack of Gervinho, Aruna Dindane and Drogba’s Chelsea team-mate Salomon Kalou, who is 8/1 to score first.

Portugal’s captain Cristiano Ronaldo starts, and having failed to score for his country since February 2009, the Real Madrid forward will be desperate to open the scoring at 7/2.

There is no place for fit again centre-back Pepe. He misses out to 22-year-old Fabio Coentrao, who partners Chelsea’s Ricardo Carvalho in central defence.

The confirmed starting line-ups are:

Ivory Coast: Barry; Eboue, K Toure (Captain), Demel, Tiene; Y Toure, Zokora, Tiote, Tiote; Kalou, Gervinho, Dindane

Portugal: Eduardo; B Alves, Carvalho, Coentrao, Ferreira; Meireles, Mendes, Deco; Ronaldo (Captain), Danny, Liedson

Can Drogba’s presence lift Ivory Coast? They are 11/4 to beat Portugal. See the full Ivory Coast vs Portugal market.



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.