Ivory Coast know that they will have to come up with a much better performance than in the reverse leg against Sudan in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
Michel Dussuyer’s team did manage a 1-0 win thanks to a solitary goal from Gervinho. However, they largely relied upon the home advantage to get this result. Ivory Coast will not have this advantage when they travel away to Sudan for the reverse fixture. Even though the team are unbeaten in the opening three matches, they have not been as dominant as their squad suggests. Players like Saloman Kalou and Wilfried Bony have underachieved for the national team.
This was especially apparent in the draw with Sudan. Even though manager Dussuyer came up with a foreword line-up consisting of players like Kalou, Bony, Gervinho, and Max Gradel, they were unable to make much impact in terms of creating chances or scoring. This meant that the midfield consisting of Geoffroy Serey Die and Jean-Michael Seri where either overrun or left without support. Dussuyer has to overcome a lot of problems in the away match. Getting anything other than three points will be a disappointment especially in the face of Gabon doing so well.
There are problems in the squad too. Seydou Doumbia may not have had much game time with Newcastle United, but the striker has returned to the Premier League club due to unspecified reasons. A few years ago, Doumbia was seen as the major hope for Ivory Coast to replace Didier Drogba. Doumbia, though, has been in a decline in the last few years. The fitness of players like goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo, defender Eric Bailly, and Geoffroy Serey Die continue to be a source of worry for the national team. As of now, Ivory Coast are one point ahead of Sudan and they need only a point to secure a place in the tournament.