World Cup: Ivory Coast Preview
Ivory Coast may not be the highest ranked team from Africa, but they may be the best and they have a great offense that is exciting to watch. * Note: Expect Ivory Coast odds to increase greatly after June 5 as captain Didier Drogba suffered a broken arm in a tune-up match.
Bovada has Ivory Coast at +2800 to win the World Cup and at +400 to win Group G
Even though Ivory Coast is lucky that the World Cup is being held on African solid they are a little unlucky that they are in the Group of Death.
Brazil is the top-ranked team in the world and Portugal is third and making it to the playoffs will be no easy task. However, Ivory Coast has a great offense and will have some home field advantage so they may make it out of group play.
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Ivory Coast is only making their second appearance in the World Cup, but their second appearance in a row.
The Elephants, as the Ivory Coast team is known, had no problems qualifying for South Africa, as they were is a fairly easy group.
The main strength of the Ivory Coast has to be the offense and they have, arguably, the most popular player in Africa is Didier Drogba of Chelsea. However, he is far from Ivory Coast’s only scoring options, as they have many such as Salomon Kalou, Gervinho, Boubacar Sanogo and Aruna Dindane, to name just a few. Most of their strikers play on big clubs in Europe and they have one of the most dynamic offenses in the field this summer.
Team chemistry is the main weakness of the Ivory Coast, as there are so many big egos on the squad. There have even been a few fights within the squad between players and they have to gel as a unit, as they will need to play a solid team game to do well in South Africa.
Swedish head coach Sven Goran Eriksson is making his third World Cup coaching appearance, but first with Ivory Coast, and he has coached all over the globe. He led England to the quarterfinals in 1990 and he has a tall task this summer keeping all the egos on the Elephants in check.
Ivory Coast should beat an inferior North Korean team and their matches are killers that may give their offense fits. Portugal has a very strong defense and Brazil has one of the best goalies in the world in G Julio Cesar of Inter Milan.
Ivory Coast World Cup Schedule
6/15/2010 Ivory Coast vs. Portugal
6/21/2010 Brazil vs. Ivory Coast
6/25/2010 North Korea vs. Ivory Coast