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Haller makes his return to Ivorian selection for 2023 AFCON qualifiers against Comoros

After making an inspiring recovery from cancer to contribute for Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, striker Sébastien Haller will now return to national team action when Ivory Coast takes on Comoros twice in 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying. Having already qualified as hosts, Les Éléphants are using their Group H matches to further head coach Jean Louis Gasset and his team’s preparations for the finals next year and currently top the group with four points from two games. Comoros are on three points, level with Zambia as the two teams compete for what will likely be only one qualifying spot if Ivory Coast finish in the top two.

Haller is joined by Fiorentina forwards Christian Kouamé and Jean-Philippe Krasso in the Ivorian attack. Veteran playmaker Max Gradel adds more attacking firepower along with potential debutant Jonathan Bamba of Ligue 1 side Lille and young forwards Amad Diallo of Sunderland as well as Right to Dream Academy graduate Simon Adingra who plays for Belgian Pro League club Royale Union Saint-Gilloise.

A talented midfield is headlined by FC Barcelona player Franck Kessié and PSV Eindhoven’s Ibrahim Sangaré. Jean-Michaël Seri, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Jean-Eudes Aholou and Hamed Traorè give Gasset a selection headache with several players capable of excelling in the center of midfield.

Familar faces Eric Bailly and Serge Aurier are set to lead the defense while Torino’s Wilfried Singo, and Odilon Kossounou of Bayer Leverkusen and Club Brugge’s Abakar Sylla are younger central defenders who will compete for playing time. Ghislain Konan and Souleyman Doumbia will battle it out for the left back position and it appears Sekhukhune United goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangaré will be the starting goalkeeper. Ivory Coast’s starting goalkeeper at the 2022 African Nations Championship (CHAN), ASEC Mimosas’ Charles Folly, is rewarded for his performances in Algeria with a call-up from Gasset to compete with Sangaré along with Bahir Dar Kenema’s Ira Tapé.

The full list of players in Gasset’s squad is below.

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