Wilfried Bony
Wilfried Bony in action for the Ivory Coast       Reuters

Manager: Sabri Lamouchi

Fifa world ranking: 21

World Cup Best: Group stage in 2006 and 2010.

How they qualified: They breezed through their opening qualifying group with four wins from their six matches. Afterwards, they beat Senegal in the play-off to secure their place in Brazil.

Fixtures: Group C - Japan (15 June), Colombia (19 June), Greece (24 June)


Goalkeepers: Boubacar Barry (Lokeren), Sylvain Gbohouo (Sewe Sport), Sayouba Mande (Stabaek)

Defenders: Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro (Toulouse), Serge Aurier (Toulouse), Souleyman Bamba (Trabzonspor), Arthur Boka (VfB Stuttgart), Viera Diarrassouba (Caykur Rizespor), Constant Djakpa (Eintracht Frankfurt), Kolo Toure (Liverpool), Didier Zokora (Trabzonspor)

Midfielders: Geoffroy Serey Die (Basel), Ismael Diomande (St Etienne), Max Gradel (St Etienne), Cheick Tiote (Newcastle United), Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Didier Ya Konan (Hannover 96)

Forwards: Mathis Bolly (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Wilfried Bony (Swansea City), Didier Drogba (Galatasaray), Gervinho (AS Roma), Salomon Kalou (Lille), Giovanni Sio (Basel).

Expectations: The Ivory Coast golden generation lead by both Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure have been more impressive on paper than in the reality. Having been drawn in the 'Group of Death' both in 2006 (Argentina and Netherlands) and 2010 (Brazil and Portugal) they have never gone through to the last 16 and the Brazil tournament looks set to be the last chance for the Manchester City star and former Chelsea hero respectively to make history with their country.

Even though Colombia are expected to be a big rival for first place, Ivory Coast still have to beat Japan and Greece to make the next round.

Star man: Wilfried Bony – The 25-year-old Swansea striker has been called to lead the new Ivory Coast generation after an astonishing debut season in the Premier League, scoring 17 goals.

He has already proved that he has what he needs to replace Michu at Swansea and now he has the even bigger challenge to replicate that with his national team by taking his opportunity to replace Drogba – either as a starter or as a substitute.

Prediction: Group stage – Securing a place in the last 16 ahead of Japan and Greece is a must for Ivory Coast. However, should things go to plan for the Golden Generation they will fancy their chances of beating Colombia to top group C.