Ivory Coast make seven changes

Ivory Coast will head to Bamako without eight key players after coach Marc Wilmots dropped them from the squad that will face Mali in the World Cup qualifiers on Friday.


Gervinho (Hebei Fortune/CHN), Jean-Michaël Séri (OGC Nice/FRA), Adama Traoré (Goztepe/TUR), Wilfried Bony (Swansea/ANG) will miss all the game for technical reasons.

The group of eight will join injured trio Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace/ANG), Max Alain Gradel (Toulouse FC/FRA,) and Seydou Doumbia (Sporting/POR), who will also miss the game due to different injuries.

“We will face Mali with a renewed team," Wilmots was quoted as saying by France Football on Monday.

“We are well prepared for this crucial clash and I promise to do our best to achieve our target and reach the World Cup.”

Ivory Coast are leaders of Group C with seven points, just one point ahead second-placed Morocco who will host Gabon in Casablanca on 7 October.

A win against Mali would boost the Elephants' hopes to make a fourth straight World Cup appearance. 

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