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World Cup Fantasy Preview: Ivory Coast

Often a favorite team among neutrals for their free-flowing attacking football, Ivory Coast enter into this World Cup with an experienced group who have played together for a long time. Will their chemistry take them into the Round of 16, or will age prove a stumbling block against the likes of Colombia, Greece and Japan?

Will Drogba and company be taking selfies with the World Cup in about a month's time?
Will Drogba and company be taking selfies with the World Cup in about a month's time?
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The road to qualification for Ivory Coast was relatively straightforward in the group stage, with 4 wins and 2 draws over their opponents. They met a tougher test in the playoffs against Senegal, but emerged 4-2 victors over two legs. The goals conceded throughout qualifying and in subsequent friendly matches may be cause for concern but, like we saw with Liverpool this season, if you score more goals than the opponent you still claim the victories.

Frenchman Sabri Lamouchi has selected the following 23-man squad to participate in Brazil:


Boubacar Barry (Lokeren), Sylvain Gbohouo (Sewe Sport), Sayouba Sande (Stabaek)


Kolo Toure (Liverpool), Sol Bamba (Trabzonspor), Didier Zokora (Trabzonspor), Serge Aurier (Toulouse), Arthur Boka (Stuttgart), Ousmane Viera Diarrassouba (Caykur Rizespor), Constant Djakpa (Frankfurt), Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro (Toulouse)


Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Cheick Tiote (Newcastle), Serey Die (Basel), Max Gradel (Saint Etienne), Diomande Ismael (Saint Etienne), Didier Ya Konan (Hannover), Mathis Bolly (Dusseldorf)


Gervinho (Roma), Didier Drogba (Galatasaray), Salomon Kalou (Lille), Wilfried Bony (Swansea), Giovanni Sio (Basel)

Fantasy Players To Watch

Serge Aurier - The 21 year-old defender is the youngest outfield player in the Elephants' squad, but should be a nailed-on starter at right back. The attacking fullback has attracted interest from Arsenal as a potential replacement for Bacary Sagna. With six goals and six assists for his club team Toulouse in Ligue 1 last season, the attacking side of Aurier's game is well-documented. If he can bring the same all-energy display to the World Cup, he'll be a real asset for your fantasy team.

Yaya Toure - We've all witnessed the devastating form the central midfielder displayed for Man City this year, contributing 20 Premier League goals in their title-winning campaign. Easily in the conversation for best midfield player in the world, the powerful attacker will be the fulcrum between defense and attack for the Elephants.

Salomon Kalou - The former Chelsea man has flourished since moving to Lille in 2012, scoring 33 goals in 60 appearances for the French club. His excellent form has carried over into national team play, and he led the team in goals during World Cup qualifying with five. His pace and energy from the wing will cause problems for opposition defenders.

Gervinho - Another player who has excelled since leaving the Premier League, the former Arsenal man never looked the part in England, but has had a massively successful season in Italy for Roma. With his confidence high going into the tournament, the winger could easily provide goals and assists for his team.

Didier Drogba - One of the best strikers the world has seen in recent years, Drogba will be playing his last tournament at the age of 36. He's shown that even at an advanced age for a striker, he can still get the job done, scoring 15 goals in 37 appearances for Galatasaray last season. He may not start every game in the tournament (likely sharing time with Wilfried Bony), but as captain he will be looked to lead from the front with goals and will be the first-choice penalty taker ahead of Yaya Toure.