El Salvador-Cote d'Ivoire: Lamouchi set to field big-guns

The Elephants handed playing time to several fringe players on Friday but are likely to recall their main men for Tuesday’s test

Cote d’Ivoire coach Sabri Lamouchi will name close to his strongest starting team against El Salvador on Wednesday.

Lamouchi gave some of his fringe players a chance to shine in their 2-1 loss to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Friday.

He then cut Lacina Traore, Seydou Doumbia, Brice Dja Djedje, Benjamin Angoua and Badra Ali on Sunday to finalise his 23-man World Cup squad.

Traore started against Bosnia in St Louis, while Dja Djedje and Doumbia got time on the pitch after half-time, however, it was not enough for them to earn a ticket to Brazil.

The Elephants, will face El Salvador in Dallas on Wednesday in their final pre-World Cup friendly and speaking after the loss to Bosnia, Lamouchi indicated he would select a line-up closer to the one that will play the first match in Brazil.

“We had a slight improvement in the second period but we have not been able to instil doubt in the opponent,” the 42-year-old French coach said.

“There are still positive things to remember. We were able to give playing time to some players but it is frustrating to end in defeat.

“The next test match against El Salvador, will be an opportunity to see a team of elephants who will be closer to the one that will play the first match of the 2014 World Cup against Japan.”

Against Bosnia, Lamouchi’s men trailed 2-0 inside an hour, but when captain Didier Drogba came off the bench in the 63rd minute, there was a notable improvement.

Drogba scored in second-half stoppage time and remains vital to his country’s chances in Brazil, having scored four times in their past five matches.

The 36-year-old striker should start against El Salvador, while Salomon Kalou, Yaya Toure and Gervinho are also likely to return to the line-up.

Kolo Toure remains in doubt having contracted malaria, although the Liverpool defender has been named in the final squad.

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