(Sporting Alert) — Ivory Coast gets its Africa Cup of Nations Group D campaign underway on Tuesday against Equatorial Guinea at Estadio de Malabo.
The Elephants enter the competition full of confidence and the expectations are high after earning the pre-tournament favourites tag by the leading bookies.
A powerful starting lineup for Tuesday’s game includes English Premier League super stars Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony, who will also play together for Manchester City when they return to club action.
Yaya is relishing the responsibility of leading his national side out in this year’s tournament.
“Responsibility is something I’ve been dealing with every day for years, as a father and now as captain of the Ivory Coast, and I am very proud,” he said at a press conference on Monday.
Gervinho will join Bony in the attack, while Salomon Kalou also plays upfront in a frontline that is expected to get goals.
Toure and Cheick Tiote are among the starters in midfield, with Serge Aurier, Kolo Toure and Eric Bailly starting in the backline.
Cheick Doukoure, Seydou Doumbia, Lacina Traore and Boubacar Barry are all on the substitutes bench for the Ivory Coast.
Boubacar Fofana, Naby Keita, Mohamed Yattare, Kevin Constant and Ibrahima Traore all start today for Equatorial Guinea, who is without captain and centre-back Kamil Zayatte, who is ruled out a leg injury.
Ivory Coast team: Gbohouo, Aurier, Kolo, Bailly, Kanon, Dié, Tioté, Yaya, Kalou, Bony, Gervinho.
Equatorial Guinea team: N Yattara; Issiaga, Pogba, F Camara, Sankoh, N Keita, B Fofana, Constant, Conte, Traore, M Yattara.