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ACN: Ivory Coast to justify pre-tournament favourites tag

| 11.02.2012

Ivory Coast were fancied before a ball was kicked to seal a first African Nations Cup title since 1992, and they now find themselves at just 1/6 to be crowned tournament winners on Sunday.

The pre-tournament favourites are 4/9 to beat fellow finalists Zambia in 90 minutes, and appear to mean business in their first final appearance since 2006.

Kolo Toure spoke to BBC Sport ahead of the final, saying: “It means a lot to our country. The people there have been suffering so much. The only thing that can bring them together is the national team and we try and do as well as we can.”

Their opponents Zambia, 11/2 underdogs to win in normal time in the African Nations Cup odds, are similarly fired-up though, and with their run to the final already being acclaimed as the national side’s greatest ever achievement, they are keen to go one step further and achieve glory.

“We have to take this cup, this is an opportunity. This is the greatest moment ever a player can have to play in the final,” captain Christopher Katongo told BBC Sport.

The draw is 13/5 and Zambia are 7/2 to win the tournament outright, but they seem unlikely to overcome an Ivory Coast side featuring stars such as Kolo and Yaya Toure, Gervinho and Didier Drogba to name but a few.

The Elephants have yet to concede a goal all tournament, with 1-0 and 2-0 their most frequent scorelines, occurring twice each in a fivematch run to their Zambia clash.

You can back Drogba and co. to win the match 1-0 at 9/2, or get 5/1 for a 2-0 Ivory Coast triumph.

If you believe a gulf in class will show in the game, it’s 9/1 for a 3-0 victory.
Drogba has unsurprisingly top-scored for Ivory Coast in the tournament, and the powerful striker is a decent 7/2 to score the first goal of the final.



John Klee