Ivory Coast justified favourites for African Nations Cup glory
Ivory Coast head into the African Nations Cup as clear favourites to achieve their first success in the tournament since 1992.
The 13/8 shots bring with them a wealth of experienced talent that has played in the very top level in Europe and around the world, including five current Premier League stars.
That each of these players perform for members of the top six in England’s top flight tells its own story, and the strength in depth evident throughout Les Elephants’ squad appears to set them apart from their competition rivals.
They will travel to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea full of confidence, in the knowledge that they are the only side that managed to qualify for the tournament with a 100 per cent record, racking up six wins from six en route.
Pedigree of the highest order is provided by former Barcelona player Yaya Toure, who will form part of a midfield which also features vibrant winger Gervinho, and the raw pace and trickery of former Leeds talent Max Gradel.
Brother of Yaya, Kolo Toure will provide a solid defensive base alongside the highly-rated Sol Bamba, while ex-Arsenal full back Emmanuel Eboue’s energy and commitment will be a big plus point for the Ivorians as well.
It is up front, however, where this side looks a class apart from the others in the competition.
The fact that Wilfried Bony, who has averaged more than a goal every two games this season, is unlikely to get a look in is an indication as to the immense strength of the options at boss Francois Zahoui’s disposal.
Imperious striker Didier Drogba, a two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, is 7/2 favourite to be top tournament goalscorer.
He is likely to be partnered by powerful CSKA Moscow forward Seydou Doumbia, with Salomon Kalou not exactly a bad option to have on the bench.