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Ivory Coast tipped to secure African crown

Ivory Coast are odds-on with bookmakers to win their second Africa Cup of Nations championship on Sunday.

The pre-tournament favourites are best priced at 4/7 (various) to defeat surprise finalists Zambia in Libreville.

The Elephants, captained by Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, reached the final after defeating their West African rivals Mali 1-0 on Wednesday thanks to a goal from Arsenal forward Gervinho.

In the other semi-final Zambia caused a huge shock, defeating 2010 finalists Ghana 1-0 courtesy of substitute Emmanuel Mayuka’s strike 12 minutes from time.

The ‘Chipolopolo’ (Copper Bullets) – managed by former Cambridge United boss Herve Renard – last reached the final in 1994. They were 40/1 outsiders at the start of the tournament, but are now offered at 6/1 (Bet365) to complete one of the tournament’s most unlikely victories.

Ivory Coast have not won the tournament since 1992, but with a host of Premier League stars in their line-up, bookies are not expecting them to fall at the final hurdle this year.

Ghana meanwhile are favourites to beat Mali in Saturday’s third-place play-off. The Black Stars are Evens with most bookmakers to triumph in Bata, with Mali offered at 3/1 (SkyBet, Stan James).

Jack Watkins
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