International Friendly: Belgium v Ivory Coast match preview

A look ahead to this week’s international friendly in Brussels

Belgium and the Ivory Coast will meet for the first time in their history on Wednesday night as both countries begin preparations for their World Cup Finals appearance this summer.

The Europeans come into the tie in their worst form of the last two years having been beaten in their last two outings, while the Ivory Coast – boasting the likes of Yaya Toure and the in-form Soloman Kalou – have won  four of their previous six.

The Belgian’s themselves are not short of quality in all areas of the pitch with many of their star names plying their trade here in England, and their seemingly easy qualification for Brazil 2014 has seen them backed as outsiders for a first World Cup triumph.

In Eden Hazard, they have arguably the best young player in the world, along with one of the world’s best centre-backs in Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany.

Wednesday’s tie represents the perfect opportunity for both teams to flex their muscles against high-calibre opposition ahead of their opening World Cup games on June 15 and 17 respectively.

KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 7:45pm

STATS…

Neither country have faced each other in international football in their entire history

Belgium will be making their first appearance at a major tournament in 12 years when Brazil 2014 kicks off

There are 10 Belgians currently playing in the Barclays Premier League, while the Ivory Coast have just three

Belgium have lost their last two in all comps, both to non-European opposition

For the Ivory Coast, it will be their first international match since they triumphed over Senegal in African World Cup qualifiers

ODDS…

Belgium to win: 1.66

Ivory Coast to win: 5.0

Draw: 3.7

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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.

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?