Cote d'Ivoire participated in the last edition of the African Cup of Nations, finishing top of their group with seven points from three games. They then faced eventual runners-up Egypt in the last 16 of the tournament, losing on penalties after the game ended goalless in normal time.
The Elephants are two-time winners of the African tournament and have featured in the competition's last nine editions, a run they will be looking to extend this year.
Zambia, on the other hand, failed to qualify for the continental showpiece last time out after winning just two of their six group games. They did not fare much better in the World Cup qualifiers either and will now be looking to put all that behind them this month.
The Chipolopolo last featured in the Africa Cup of Nations back in 2015, exiting in the group stage after going winless in their three games.
Cote d'Ivoire vs Zambia Head-to-Head
Friday's game will mark the 10th meeting between Cote d'Ivoire and Zambia. The home nation have won just two of their previous matchups while the visitors have won six times. There has been just one draw between the two teams.
The two nations last faced off in a friendly clash back in 2019 which Cote d'Ivoire won 4-1.
Cote d'Ivoire Form Guide (All Competitions): L-L-L-W-D
Zambia Form Guide (All Competitions): L-W-D-L-L
Cote d'Ivoire vs Zambia Team News
New head coach Jean-Louis Gasset has called up two uncapped players in the squad for the qualifiers, including goalkeeper Mohamed Kone of Le Havre.
Clatous Chama and Augustine Mulenga are both injured and have been excluded from the visiting squad. Veteran goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene was also excluded from the squad due to club obligations.
Injured: Clatous Chama, Augustine Mulenga
Unavailable: Kennedy Mweene
Cote d'Ivoire vs Zambia Predicted XI
Cote d'Ivoire Predicted XI (4-3-3): Badra Sangare; Serge Aurier, Willy Boly, Eric Bailly, Hassane Kamara; Ibrahim Sangare, Jean-Michel Seri, Franck Kessie, Nicolas Pepe, Sebastien Haller, Wilfried Zaha
Zambia Predicted XI (4-3-3): Toaster Nsabata (GK); Dominic Chanda, Benedict Chepeshi, Frankie Musonda, Tandi Mwape; Kelvin Kampamba, Kings Kangwa, Enock Mwepu; Patson Daka, Fashion Sakala, Evans Kangwa
Cote d'Ivoire vs Zambia Prediction
Cote d'Ivoire are on a run of three consecutive defeats across all competitions and will be desperate to end that run this week. However, they have been undefeated on home soil for almost five years and will fancy their chances ahead of Friday's game.
Zambia have won just one of their last five games. They sit 34 places behind their weekend opponents in the FIFA rankings and could lose here.
Prediction: Cote d'Ivoire 3-1 Zambia