Former Ivory Coast coach and 2015 Africa Cup of Nations winner Herve Renard will be facing his former team in Abidjan on November 11 in Group C’s deciding clash of the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
Renard, who now manages Morocco, is hoping to keep stranglehold on the group to claim the sole ticket to Russia. The Atlas Lions are leading with 9 points while the Elephants hold 8, with the other two members Mali and Gabon already eliminated. The Frenchman will lead an inspection team from the Moroccan FA (FRMF) to Abidjan next week in a bid to clear every difficult situation ahead of the encounter.
“We want to boost our chances by renting the best hotel for our players, getting the best transport, making sure the training pitches are set and great as well as the main stadium,” administrative director at FRMF, Driss Lakhal, said. “We are not forgetting also arrangements for supporters, those who are based in Abidjan and those coming from Morocco.”
Ivory Coast missed several key players in their previous game against Mali which ended in a goalless draw and it is yet unclear whether the likes of Gervinho and Wilfried Zaha would be available against Morocco.
However, it is certain that Manchester United defender Eric Bailly will miss the clash due to suspension from two yellow cards.