Our prediction for this match:
Belgium will be looking to extend their winning run to 13 games in all competitions when they welcome Ivory Coast at their Stade Roi Baudouin on Thursday evening. The Red Devils look sharp in front of goal, and even though Eden Hazard is unlikely to be risked against Ivory Coast, the hosts are definitely capable of extending their impressive winning streak. A man to keep an eye on in the home team will be Premier League ace Kevin de Bruyne.
The Elephants, on the other hand, continue their preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Seeing that Ivory Coast boss Ibrahim Kamara will use this friendly to test as many footballers as possible, anything but a routine home win will be major sensation. A man to watch in the away team will be Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, who has been in a splendid form at the start of the new Premier League campaign.
Highlighted Player (Eden Hazard):
After impressing during his six-year spell with Lille (2007-2012), Eden Hazard signed for Chelsea in June, 2012. The Belgian midfielder helped the Blues win the Premier League trophy in the 2014/2015 campaign and it has to be noted that he was named the Premier League Player of the Year back then.
Eden Hazard made it to the 2014 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals with Belgium, but Argentina proved to be a big catch for the Red Devils in the last eight of the showpiece tournament in Brazil. Hazard scored one goal for Belgium at the Euro 2016 finals, while providing four assists for his teammates and no doubt he was the key player for Marc Wilmots’ team at the tournament in France.
Eden was born on 7 January, 1991 in La Louviere, Belgium and it is well known that his brother Thorgan Hazard is a professional football player as well. Eden Hazard is married to Natacha Van Honacker, who gave birth to their three children.
Highlighted Team (Ivory Coast):
Over the years Ivory Coast have established themselves as one of the best African teams. The Elephants won their second Africa Cup of Nations trophy in 2015, with the team beating Ghana in the final of the tournament. Ivory Coast defeated the Black Stars on penalties and it has to be noted that goalkeeper Boubacar Barry scored the winner.
A number of high-profile footballers played (or play) for the Ivory Coast national team, but, no doubt, the most notable players are Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, Salomon Kalou and Gervinho. Ivory Coast are well known for their orange kit, but they play their away games in green shirts and green shorts. Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny is regarded as the team’s home stadium.
Didier Zokora is the player with the most caps for the Ivory Coast national team (123), while aforementioned attacker Didier Drogba is the team’s top scorer (65 goals). Drogba is the symbol of the Ivory Coast football and the former Chelsea man played for the national team from 2002 to 2014.