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International Friendly Preview: Ghana v Ivory Coast
Jun 13, 2013 10:06 PM GMT
Ghana and Ivory Coast meet in the first of two friendlies on Wednesday ahead of upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Both teams won comfortably in qualifying games last week, but Ghana's victory was not enough to take them to the top of their group and they remain under pressure to secure their passage to the next round.
A double from Asamoah Gyan gave James Kwesi Appiah's men a 3-1 in Sudan, despite the first-half dismissal of defender Richard Kissi Boateng.
However, they stay in second place by virtue of Zambia's comfortable win over Lesotho.
Lesotho are Ghana's next opponents in qualifying on June 16, and they will hope to build confidence by doing the double over Ivory Coast over the next few days.
Still, the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finalists know they face a difficult task against a team that sits top of their qualifying group.
Sabri Lamouchi's outfit are four points clear in Group C and can secure their place in the next round with victory over second-placed Tanzania in their next competitive outing.
Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure were both on target as they eased to a 3-0 win in Gambia last Saturday.
Lamouchi will be looking for more of the same on Wednesday in Accra, with Toure, Bony, and Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote all set to be involved.
Lille forward Salomon Kalou could also feature. The former Chelsea man is the Ivory Coast's top scorer in qualifying, finding the net three times.
Gyan will likely be the key man for the hosts, with Milan's Sulley Muntari and Espanyol's Wakaso Mubarak both set to play some part as two of Africa's best sides lock horns.