x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Ivory Coast face Tunisia in African Cup of Nations training in Abu Dhabi

The team, complete with lumiaries such as Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Gervinho, will train for two weeks in the UAE capital.

The Ivory Coast team have chosen to prepare for the African Cup of Nations in Abu Dhabi.
The Ivory Coast team have chosen to prepare for the African Cup of Nations in Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI // The Ivory Coast, complete with Premier League luminaries Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Gervinho, will face Tunisia today at Zayed Sports City as Les Elephants' preparation ahead of this month's African Cup of Nations continue.

Francois Zahoui, the Ivory Coast coach, and his team arrived in Abu Dhabi on Sunday for a two-week training camp ahead of the biennial tournament, which kicks off on January 21 in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

A 23-man squad has been put through their paces twice daily and will get match practice against Tunisia today. The Ivory Coast football federation also hope to arrange an exhibition match with Libya in Abu Dhabi on Monday before flying to Africa on Wednesday, where they will arrive as one of the favourites to lift the cup. They start their campaign against Sudan on January 22.

Ghana will also be expected to dominate after reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup in South Africa two years ago. Asamoah Gyan, the Al Ain striker on loan from Sunderland, was yesterday included in the Black Stars' squad after coach Goran Stevanovic decided the 26-year-old's hamstring injury had recovered adequately.

Fourteen of the 23 players selected by Stevanovic represented their country at the World Cup in summer 2010, but the squad will be without injured Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, as well as AC Milan playmaker Kevin-Prince Boateng, who retired from international football last year. Ghana play Botswana on January 24.

 

gmeenaghan@thenational.ae