IVORY Coast midfielder Yaya Toure says his side are ready to challenge for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations despite the strong opposition that they will face.
The Elephants go into the tournament as one of the top favourites, and the Manchester City star says they are prepared mentally and physically.
“We have prepared in very good conditions in the United Arab Emirates and also here in South Africa,” Toure told Le Buteur.
“We are working in a good atmosphere. I think the group is well prepared for the African Cup of Nations.”
Sabri Lamouchi’s side will start their campaign against Togo at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, and Toure believes the match will not be a walk in the park for his side.
“It will be a difficult game as all matches are,” he said. “Togo remains a very good team that has produced some positive results.
“For us it is very important to win the first match for our morale and to continue the rest of the tournament with full confidence.
“Group D, which includes Ivory Coast, Togo, Algeria and Tunisia is the most difficult and things will not be easy for the four teams.
“Each wants to qualify, but in the end only two teams will qualify to the quarter-finals and the other two will be eliminated.
“Everything will be decided on the field, but in my opinion, the matches from this group will be the hardest and most beautiful to watch for the fans.”