Ivory Coast coach Ibrahim Kamara recently announced his star studded 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 and it is quite clear that Elephants can cause a stampede in Egypt.
Despite the 1-0 defeat to Uganda in a pre-Afcon friendly, the two time African Champions still have the mental strength to go far in the tournament.
The Ivorians have the necessary motivation to bag a third title having won it twice, 1992 and 2015. In the 1992 edition hosted by Senegal, Ivory Coast played in one of the most memorable Afcon Finals against Ghana winning a marathon penalty shoot out 11-10 after the match ended goalless in regulation time.
The West Africans tasted another energy sapping Penalty shootout final against Zambia in the 2012 Afcon hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon after another goalless match. This time they lost 8-7 and had to wait for another opportunity to win a second title. The opportunity came in 2015 when they had to go back to Equatorial Guinea to face Ghana again, in another marathon shootout which ended 9-8 in their favor. Strangely this match also ended goalless but the Elephants didn’t care.
They have all the required physical specimen to cause damage in Egypt
Coach Kamara has so many options to choose from his final squad. Nicolas Pepe has been quite the revelation and is being quoted by many European Clubs. Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has also a lot in his tank and brings the width needed. Zaha will cause defenders a lot problems as he has shown in the English Premier League.
Kamara also has at his disposal Milan midfielder Franck Kessie and Maxwel Cornet who plays in the French Ligue 1 with Lyon.
The defensive setup looks strong aswell with the experienced Soul Bamba of Rennes in France and Serge Aurier of Tottenham Hotspur, England. However, former Arsenal and Roma winger Gervinho will not be with the Elephants in Egypt after being left out.
The Ivory Coast squad still looks very strong and will go out to cause rampage in Egypt. They are drawn in a very competitive Group D with Morocco, Namibia and South Africa.
Ivory Coast full squad:
Goalkeepers: Sylvain Gbohouo (TP Mazembe), Ali Badra (Free State Stars), Tape Ira (FC San Pedro)
Defenders: Serge Aurier (Tottenham), Wilfried Kanon (ADO The Hague), Wonlo Coulibaly (ASEC Mimosas), Ismaël Traoré (Angers), Mamadou Bagayoko (Red Star), Cheikh Comara (Wydad Casablanca), Souleyman Bamba (Rennes)
Midfielders: Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Mainz), Geoffrey Serey Dié (Neuchâtel Xamax), Jean-Michaël Seri (Fulham), Victorian Angban (Metz), Franck Kessié (Milan) , Ibrahim Sangaré (Toulouse)
Strikers: Max-Alain Gradel (Toulouse), Nicolas Pépé (Lille), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa), Roger Assalé (Young Boys Bern), Maxwel Cornet (Lyon), Wilfried Bony (Without a club).