Are Cote d ‘ Ivorie favourites to win 2015 Afcon?
MALABO, EQUATORIAL GUINEA,
Is the 2015 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations finally Cote d ‘ Ivorie’s to lose?
The West African nation has been considered favourites by pundits to triumph in the last three editions of this competition, mainly owing to the outstanding talent in their ranks, but have instead fallen by the way side each time in embarrassing fashion.
The situation however looks much different on this occasion owing to a couple of factors which perhaps led to the ” Elephants” contingent displaying a feel good factor at the Santa Isabel Airport in Malabo on Monday afternoon while enroute to Bata ahead of their semi-final clash against DR Congo.
“We cannot discuss about winning the (continental) title yet, it will be unfair to our opponents in the semi final. But the confidence is all over following the way the team has improved as the tournament progressed,” striker Wilfred Bony told journalists at the airport, as several players posed for photos with tens of excited fans.
Standing in Herve Renard’s men’ path to the final is a well oiled Democratic Republic of Congo side that not only remains unbeaten at this competition after four games, but also defeated their opponents in Abidjan during the qualification phase of this competition.
Midfielder Youssef Mulumbu, who is tipped to return to the starting line up after injury forced him to sit out of the epic “River Congo” derby, expects this clash to be close.
“Very close actually,” the West Bromwich Albion midfielder clarified.
“We will exercise a certain amount of caution, but try to impose our power play especially in attack to offer their back line some problems,” he added.
The elimination of Senegal, Algeria and Tunisia from the competition has, according to most commentators, installed Cote d ‘ Ivorie as the outright favourites to triumph here.
A section of fans are even hoping for a dream finale against Ghana.
But it is the way Yaya Toure and co express themselves against DR Congo at the Estadio de Bata Wednesday evening that will perhaps offer the biggest indicator yet of their chances of bagging a second ever African title.