World Champions France are set to welcome Ivory Coast to the Stade Orange Velodrome when the two teams meet for an international friendly match in Marseille on Friday evening, with kick off set for 10:15pm.
The French National Team will come into this fixture on a five-game winning run after Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe fired them to a 2-0 victory over Finland in their Fifa World Cup Group D qualifier at the Helsinki Olympyc Stadium on Tuesday 16th November 2021.
Ivory Coast, on the other hand, come into the match on a four-game unbeaten run after playing out to a goalless draw against Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 at the Stade Omnisport de Douala on 26 January 2022, but ultimately getting eliminated from the competition. after losing 5-4 on penalties.
France head coach Didier Deschamps: “Some of you will say that these matches have no value but it is better to win them otherwise they will increase in value.
“I prefer to be in my place, qualified for the World Cup with two friendly matches on the programme than that of my Italian or Portuguese counterparts who will face each other in the play-off.
“We haven’t been together for four months: it’s the return of the French team. Next, I am realistic. Many players are there, had very important matches before and will have very important ones after.
“We are going to play in Lille, the stadium is full and in Marseille, the stadium will be.”
France and Ivory Coast have met on two occasions in recent times with the French national team claiming a comfortable 3-0 victory in an international friendly at the Stade De La Mosson in Montpellier on 17 August 2005 before they shared the spoils after playing out to a goalless draw at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis on 15 November 2016.
French manager Didier Deschamps was forced to make changes to his squad after losing defender Benjamin Pavard and experienced forward Karim Benzema due to injuries, who have since been replaced by William Saliba and Olivier Giroud.
Ivory Coast mentor Patrice Beaumelle only has one name on his injury list in the form of Atalanta winger Jérémie Boga, who is currently out of action with a knee injury.
In the absence of Karim Benzema, France will look to Kylian Mbappé to be on his best in front of goal as he has been doing for Paris Saint-Germain, where he has already bagged 26 goals and 17 assists in 37 appearances across all competitions.
Sébastien Haller is currently in the best form of his career after surpassing the 30 goal mark with 33 to his name in 35 appearances in all competitions but the Ajax forward will be looking to replicate the same form with the national team.