Ivory Coast v Sudan preview
Drogba and co ready for opening clash of 2012 tournament
Last Updated: 22/01/12 12:02pm
Ivory Coast will look to Didier Drogba for inspiration
Ivory Coast and Sudan start the road to Africa Cup of Nations glory on Sunday when they square up in their Group B opener in Malabo.
The Elephants are clear favourites to finish top of the group, and many have even tipped the West African juggernauts to go all the way in the 2012 installment, given the fact fellow big-hitters Egypt, Cameroon and Nigeria are all missing from the tournament.
The Desert Hawks, meanwhile, have lost some of their footballing shimmer over the years as ethnic, religious and economic strife has plagued the country's development.
However, Mohamed Abdullah's men will be hoping to give their compatriots something to cheer about.
On the team front, the Ivory Coast have a squad overflowing with talent, with Chelsea superstar Didier Drogba leading the attack, while his club team-mate Salomon Kalou, the Toure brothers and Manchester City duo Kolo and Yaya and Arsenal hitman Gervinho are just some of the other big-name talents at the coach's disposal.
Sudan, meanwhile, will be looking to inspirational captain Haitham Mustafa to lead the side, with the midfielder boasting over 100 international caps for his country, and close on 600 appearances for his club, Al-Hilal.
The skipper is joined by eight of his club team-mates in the set-up, while another 10 squad members all ply their trade with last season's domestic league champions Al-Merreikh.
Africa Cup of Nations Group A
Africa Cup of Nations Group B
Africa Cup of Nations Group C
Africa Cup of Nations Group D