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Ivory Coast profile

The Elephants will be looking to deliver in Angola

Last Updated: 08/01/10 11:17am

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Drogba: Heavy weight of expectation

Drogba: Heavy weight of expectation

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Ivory Coast are seen as the clear favourites to lift the African Cup of Nations trophy in 2010.

The Elephants have the best crop of players on the African continent and will be incredibly difficult to beat in a competition they will want to win in order to stamp their authority ahead of the World Cup in June.

Ivory Coast will be taking part in their 18th African Cup of Nations but have won the tournament on just one occasion in 1992 finishing runners-up to Egypt in 2006. However replicating their 1992 triumph is an expectation rather than a strong possibility among a fervent Ivory Coast following this time round.

Côte d'Ivoire swept aside all and sundry along the way to qualifying for both the World Cup and AFCON.

In the first round they finished unbeaten at the top of Group 7, conceding just two goals in six matches. They fared even better in the second round as they topped Group E with sixteen points from six matches, scoring 19 goals along the way. Skipper Didier Drogba finished as the Elephants' top goalscorer with six goals, while Sekou Cissé, Bakari Koné and Boubacar Sanogo weighed in with three goals apiece.

One to watch: Didier Drogba

Chelsea forward Didier Drobga is probably the best out-and-out striker in the world today. His strength and pace make him almost impossible to defend against when on his game and his ability to score from just about anywhere makes him a nightmare to control.

However, his temperament, when things go against him, has come in for question on more than one occasion and his ability to control the immense expectation on his shoulders will determine how far the Elephants can go.

Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic

Vahid Halilhodzic took the reins of the Elephants in 2008 and has since led them to qualification for the World Cup in South Africa.

The 57-year-old Yugoslav had never been in charge of a national team before but has worked wonders, although it could be argued that he has an excellent squad at his disposal. Big things are expected of the Elephants and Halilhodzic will hope to be the man to deliver on their ambitions.

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