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African All Stars

Zaha, Pepe in Ivory Coast squad for DR Congo friendly

19:14 GMT+3 04/10/2019
Wilfried Zaha Ivory Coast 2017
The Elephants continue their preparations for the 2021 Afcon qualifiers with a largely unchanged squad

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha and Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe lead a cast of familiar faces in the 23-man Ivory Coast squad to face the Democratic Republic of the Congo in an international friendly match on October 13 in Amiens, France.

Elephants coach Ibrahim Kamara named a largely unchanged squad from the team that played Benin and Tunisia’s in September's friendly matches.

Reading midfielder Yakou Meite returns after failing to make it into the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final squad.

Also coming in is striker Christian Kouame of Genoa, who is set to make his senior national team debut after sterling performances with the Under-23 side in the 2020 Olympic qualifiers.

Familiar faces dominate Kamara’s squad, with Zaha in the team despite failing to score a single goal for Crystal Palace in seven Premier League appearances.

Arsenal’s Pepe is also in the team together with Tottenham Hotspur defender Serge Aurier.

There is no place for injured Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodjia and Everton midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin who has just started light training following a knee injury he sustained in August.

No home-based players has made it into Kamara's squad.

Ivory Coast are using the friendly match to ready themselves for the 2021 Afcon qualifiers where they will play Madagascar, Ethiopia and Niger in Group K.

Ivory Coast squad

Goalkeepers: Gbohouo Sylvain (TP Mazembe, DRC), Badra Ali Sangare (Uthongathi FC, South Africa), Sayouba Mande (Odense Boldklub, Denmark)

Defenders: Konan Ghislain (Stade Reims, France), Aurier Serge (Tottenham Hotspur, England), Brito Willie (FC Zurich, Switzerland), Kanon Wilfried (Pyramids FC, Egypt), Traoré Ismael (Angers Sporting Club, France), Komara Cheick (Wydad Athletic Club, Morocco), Doumbia Souleymane (Stade Rennais, France), Deli Simon (Club Brugge, Belgium)

Midfielders: Kessie Franck (AC Milan, Italy), Habib Maiga (Metz, France), Seko Fofana ( Udinese, Italy), Angban Victorien (Metz, France), Sangare Ibrahim (Toulouse, France), Yakou Meite (Reading, England)

Forwards: Max Gradel (Toulouse, France), Zaha Wilfried (Crystal Palace, England), Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal, England), Assale Roger (Young Boys, Switzerland), Boli Yohan (Sint-Truidense, Belgium), Christian Kouame (Genoa, Italy)