World Cup 2014: Ivory Coast v Japan match preview

A look ahead to Sunday’s World Cup fixture at Arena Pernambuco

This is surely the last chance for Ivory Coast’s golden generation, who will be looking to get their campaign off to a winning start, but they come up against a talented Japan team who many are tipping to do well in Brazil.

Japan have won all of their last five matches, including a 3-2 victory over a good Belgium side, and they will be looking to carry this form into their group opener against the Ivory Coast. With a group of technically gifted players such as Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa, and proven goal scorer Shinji Okazaki who has 38 international goals to his name, Japan have one of their most promising squads in recent times. Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni has a good record since taking over as manager, and he will be confident that this exciting group of players can take away a good result from their opening match.

FIFA’s highest ranked African side will have something to say about this however, and they definitely have the players capable of performing on the biggest stage, with a squad packed full of stars from Europe’s top leagues. Despite this, Ivory Coast have never progressed from the group stages of the World Cup, and this is a record they will be looking to change in Brazil. A powerful team led by the former Chelsea man Didier Drogba and Manchester City’s player of the year Yaya Toure, this Ivory Coast team could prove too strong for the Japanese in what is sure to be an enthralling encounter between two exciting, attacking sides desperate to qualify from their group.

Even though this side contains Manchester United playmaker Shinji Kagawa, Keisuke Honda is still the key man  

KICK-OFF: Sunday, 2am

 

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Japan 0 Ivory Coast 2, International Friendly, June 2010

Japan 1 Ivory Coast 0, International Friendly, May 2008

Japan 1 Ivory Coast 0, International Friendly, October 1993

 

STATS…

This fixture has never ended in a draw, with two wins for Japan and one win for Ivory Coast.

Japan’s Yasuhito Endo is the second most capped player in the World Cup with 144 international appearances.

Japan haven’t lost a match since October 2013.

Ivory Coast have three players with over 100 caps, Kolo Toure, Didier Zokora and Didier Drogba.

Ivory Coast have six players with fewer than five caps in their squad.

Ivory Coast have never won their opening World Cup game.

 

ODDS…

Ivory Coast to win: 2.63

Japan to win: 3.00

Draw: 3.10

 

TV: Live on ITV 1 at 2am

News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
people
News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition