ABIDJAN -- Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure are expected to lead Ivory Coast's challenge at the World Cup next month after being included in a provisional squad of 28 players.
Striker Drogba and midfielder Toure will likely form the spine for Africa's top-ranked team when they play Japan, Colombia and Greece in Group C in Brazil.
Toure's brother Kolo, the Liverpool defender, was also on the list released on Tuesday by coach Sabri Lamouchi, along with strikers Wilfried Bony of Swansea and Gervinho of Roma.
Ivory Coast has their best chance of going far at the World Cup after being drawn in a relatively manageable group. Drogba, one of Africa's best-ever strikers, is 36 and almost certainly heading for his last World Cup appearance.
Goalkeepers: Copa Barry (Lokeren), Gbohouo Sylvain (Sewe Sport), Sayouba Mandé (Stabaek), Badra Ali (ASEC Mimosas).
Defenders: Kolo Touré (Liverpool), Bamba Souleyman (Trabzonspor), Jean Daniel Akpa Akpro (Toulouse), Arthur Boka (Stuttgart), Serge Aurier (Toulouse), Brice Dja Djédjé (Marseille), Didier Zokora (Trabzonspor), Benjamin Angoua Brou (Valenciennes), Ousman Vieira (Caykur Rizespor).
Midfielders: Cheik Tioté (Newcastle), Yaya Touré (Manchester City), Romaric (Bastia), Max-Alain Gradel (St-Etienne), Ismaël Diomandé (St-Etienne), Didier Ya Konan (Hannover), Constant Djakpa (Eintracht Frankfurt), Geoffroy Serey Dié (Basel).
Strikers: Wilfried Bony (Swansea), Didier Drogba (Galatasaray), Gervinho (Roma), Giovanni Sio (Basel), Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow), Lacina Traoré (Monaco), Salomon Kalou (Lille).