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Starting XI: Ivory Coast v Japan

World Cup 
Group C
Teams: Japan v Ivory Coast 
Date: 14 June 2014
Venue: Arena Pernambuco
One of Africa's hopefuls, Ivory Coast, begin their World Cup campaign with tough encounter against Japan at Arena Pernambuco.
Japan were the first to country to book their place in Brazil, after topping the Asian qualifying group.
This is their fifth World Cup appearance after making their debut in 1998, before co-hosting the tournament in 2002, which saw them reach the round of 16.
Alberto Zaccheroni will be banking on the likes of Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa, AC Milan's Keisuke Honda and Nurnberg's Shinji Okazaki to bang home the goals.
The Blue Samuris's preparation for the tournament could not have went any better, having won their last five international friendlies, which included wins over Belgium and Costa Rica.
Ivory Coast certainly boast the best African side on paper, with the likes of Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba, Wilfried Bony, Chiek Tiote all plying their trade in Europe's top leagues.
This is only the third time the Elephants have qualified for a World Cup, and despite boasting some of the best players in the world, they are yet to progress past the group stages.
The Elephants' form going into the tournament has been inconsistent, recording one win, one draw and a loss.
Here is how they line up:
Japan: Kawashima, Uchida, Honda, Nagatomo, Morishige, Okazaki, Kagawa, Yamaguchi, Hasebe, Osako, Yoshida.
Ivory Coast: Barry, Boka, Zokora, Bamba, Serey, Tiote, Gervinho, Bony, Aurier, Yaya Toure, Kalou


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