Ivory Coast finalise their Africa Cup of Nations squad

By John JamesBBC Sport, Abidjan
Chelsea and Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba in action against Burundi
Drogba will lead Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations

Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui has dropped two players to finalise his squad for the Africa Cup of Nations.

The two players to miss out are Ukraine-based Marco Taddei Ne and goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone, who plays for US Boulogne in France.

The entire 23-man squad play outside of Ivory Coast.

Goalkeeper Daniel Yeboah would have been the only locally-based player but signed for French side Dijon from Asec Mimosas recently.

There are a total of seven England-based players on the list, including Sol Bamba who plays in the Championship with Leicester City.

The squad are in Abu Dhabi for a pre-tournament training camp, during which they are due to play friendlies against Tunisia and Lebanon.

Ivory Coast again head into this Nations Cup as one of the favourites, especially given the absence of major teams such as Nigeria, Cameroon and Egypt.

But in recent years Ivory Coast's star-studded line-up has frequently under-performed despite being the continent's top-ranked team and coach Zahoui warned against complacency.

"In Ivory Coast we've got a big problem - we don't respect our opponents", he said recently.

"When we go to a Cup of Nations people say 'oh no, this team aren't there, this team aren't there' and each time people are disappointed because we go as the super-favourite and then come back disappointed."

Some players to miss out are West Ham United's Guy Demel, Kofi Ndri Romaric of Espanyol and Aruna Dindane, who is playing in Qatar.

Ivory Coast preliminary squad:

Goalkeepers: Barry Boubacar (Lokeren, Belgium), Gerrard Gnanahouan (Avranches, France), Daniel Yeboah (Dijon, France)

Defenders: Siake Tiene (Paris St Germain, France), Arthur Boka (Stuttgart, Germany), Benjamin Angoua Brou (Valenciennes, France), Igor Lolo (FC Kuban Krasnodar, Russia), Didier Zokora (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Emmanuel Eboue (Galatasaray, Turkey), Kolo Toure (Manchester City, England), Souleymane Bamba (Leicester City, England)

Midfielders: Kafoumba Coulibaly (Nice, France), Jean-Jacques Gosso Gosso (Orduspor, Turkey), Didier Ya Konan (Hannover, Germany), Cheick Tiote (Newcastle United, England), Max Gradel (St Etienne, France), Yaya Toure (Manchester City, England)

Forwards: Gervinho (Arsenal, England), Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Didier Drogba (Chelsea, England), Salomon Kalou (Chelsea, England), Wilfried Boni (Vitesse Arnhem, Netherlands), Abdul Kader Keita (Al Sadd, Qatar)

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