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The favourites kick off their Africa Cup of Nations campaign against the modest Sparrow Hawks, Al Hain-Cole expects them to send out a strong message with a high-scoring game

Just a year after suffering a shock penalty shootout defeat in the final against surprise champions Zambia, Cote d'Ivoire have another chance to lift the Africa Cup of Nations before the sun sets on the current 'Golden Generation'.

Didier Drogba and his star-studded team-mates are the main attraction of the tournament, and will garner global attention when they kick off their campaign against Togo.

Unsurprisingly, The Elephants are clear favourites to overcome their more modest opponents, with William Hill offering odds of 2/7 (1.29) on them starting their South African sojourn with a win.

The Sparrow Hawks return to this stage for the first time since controversially withdrawing from Angola 2010 following the tragic terrorist attack on their team bus, and are available at meaty 10/1 (11.00) odds to pick up only their third Africa Cup of Nations victory.

The last two encounters between these two sides have resulted in stalemates, but with over a decade having passed since their previous meeting, another draw seems unlikely, at 18/5 (4.60).

Sabri Lamouchi is blessed with probably the continent's most impressive attacking options at his disposal, with the aforementioned Drogba ably supported by the likes of Salomon Kalou, Gervinho, Arouna Kone and Yaya Toure, to name a few.

This strikeforce will surely be too hot to handle for a defence that has conceded three goals to Niger and Burkina Faso in recent fixtures, and you would expect the prolific Ivorians to at least match that tally.

Considering at least three goals have been scored in four of the Cote d'Ivoire's last four games, even odds (2.00) look like fantastic value for over 2.5 to pay out here.

While Lamouchi is spoilt for choice up front, Togo's hopes of upsetting the odds rest firmly on the shoulders of Emmanuel Adebayor, whose late decision to join his compatriots for this tournament have given the side a massive boost.

The Tottenham striker has scored an impressive 26 goals in 54 international games, and has hit the back of the net in each of his country's last two competitive fixtures.

The Togolese talisman will be at the centre of anything his side have to offer going forward, and is not to be missed at extremely generous 4/1 (5.00) odds to score anytime.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Over 2.5 Goals at Evens (2.00) with William Hill
Emmanuel Adebayor to score anytime at 4/1 (5.00) with William Hill

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.


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