Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodjia and Jordan Ayew will be serving a higher purpose over the next few weeks as they represent the Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) and Ghana respectively at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Ivory Coast make their bow today against Emmanuel Adebayor’s Togo - how’s that for a Villa link? Adebayor was tapped up by Tim Sherwood to join Aston Villa before the move fell apart - he’s still without a club.
Adebayor himself noted that his Togo team that have yet to beat ‘The Elephants’ in the AFCON, are in for a fight:
"When I view the Algeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal squads, I realise we are not among the best on paper, but there will be 23 highly committed Togolese footballers at the Africa Cup of Nations." - Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor
The Ivory Coast squad includes Villa’s golden boy, Jonathan Kodjia amongst numerous talents. Wilfried Zaha will make his competitive debut for the Ivory Coast, whilst Soloman Kalou, Wilfried Bony, Serge Aurier and Eric Bailly will provide steady experience.
Togo’s coach, Claude Le Roy, doesn’t have the same amount of talent to work with, but he has identity; he has named his Togo squad as ‘troublemakers’. Even an Ivory Coast team without Yaya & Kolo Toure, Gervinho and Doumbia is going to take a hell of an effort to beat.
Where you can you watch Togo vs Ivory Coast:
Australia: beIN Sports Connect Australia, beIN Sports 1 Australia
United Kingdom: EuroSport 1 UK
United States: beIN SPORTS CONNECT U.S.A., fuboTV, beIN SPORTS USA
Agassa; Mamah, Akakpo, Sadat, Dakonam; Gakpe, Dossevi, Romao, Atakora; Adebayor, Boukari.
Sylvain; Aurier, Bailly, Traore, Deli; Gradel, Serge, Serey; Kalou, Kodjia, Zaha.
Even Adebayor knows he is in for a scrap. 3-1 to the Ivory Coast ideally through a Kodjia goal.