Basel, Switzerland 05.27.2006
Ivory Coast owes their historic qualification for Germany to an exceptional generation of soccer players who for the most part served their apprenticeship at the academy set up by Jean-Marc Guillou just outside Abidjan. Aruna Dindane, Kolo Toure, Didier Zokora, Arthur Boka, Blaise Kouassi and Barry Copa all "graduated" from Guillou's academy and formed the inside nucleus of it's successful qualifying campaign.
Also Arsenal's Drogba had a partnership with Dindane which proved to be the most prolific in the African Zone qualifiers and was the key to Côte d'Ivoire's success.
The Ivory Coast team will travel to Switzerland for their final stage; to prepare for the final phase of the World Cup. They will have their camp in Switzerland since it's so close to Germany. The players will have a chance to get used to weather they will encounter in Germany.
On the other side, after failing to qualify for the last two editions Switzerland claimed a place in Germany.
In their last appearance in USA 1994 they made it to the round of 16 but fell 3-0 against runner-up Italy.
In the qualifying stage before the play-off second-leg defeat by Turkey, the Swiss had gone a full year and 14 straight games without a defeat; evidence of the growing strength of a team that includes players who attracted rave reviews at various under-age levels. Their line-up in the play-offs featured Tranquillo Barnetta and Philippe Senderos both of whom claimed UEFA European U-17 Championship honors in 2002.
It seems the trend of many teams is to travel to Switzerland for their final preparations, and the Swiss are taking advantage of that; having a lot of teams coming to play in their home soil to travel to nearby Germany for the start of the big tournament.
One of the squads that will go to Switzerland is the Ivory Coast, which is a team that works perfectly for the Swiss since their style of play is very similar to the Swiss match group rival Togo.
In this game Switzerland will tune up the final details before traveling to Germany.
Most sports books will have lines for these friendly matches, so if you like sports betting and soccer don't miss the opportunity to bet in this game held at the Alps.
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WagerWeb.com Contributing Writer .