Côte d’Ivoire start off their Africa Cup of Nations 2013 against the Sparrow hawks of Togo in Group D, on Tuesday at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
The Elephants are on the warpath in search of their second continental crown following that of 1992, and will try to forget their repeated failures of 2006 and 2012 which saw them defeated in both finals, following penalty shootouts against Egypt and Zambia.
Tunisian born French Coach Sabri Lamouchi who replaced François Zahoui last May will count on the experience of his charges led by former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, Manchester City duo of Toure brothers (Yaya and Kolo), Arsenal’s Gervinho plus striker Arouna Kone among others.
And for their big debut in the South African tournament, the Elephants are rearing to go with a full house and no injury concerns.
But Togo refuse to wear the loser’s badge as a foregone conclusion for their debut at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
Despite a warm-up period perturbed by internal conflict, the coach of the Sparrow hawks Didier Six can count on Emmanuel Adebayor, Alaixys Romao and many of his other stars to lead the way.
Labelled the underdogs of Group D, the Togolese national team have every intention of being a killjoy at this Afcon CAN 2013.
This match will be followed by a 100% Maghrebi affair between Algeria and Tunisia, the two other teams in Group D.