Spain starts title defense

Spain starts title defense

Spain are looking to have a strong start, for title defense, as they kick off their World Cup campaign with a win against Ivory Coast. According to the rankings of FIBA in February 2023, Spain is on the top. As for Ivory Coast, they are at the 42nd of the FIBA ranking, but despite their place in the rankings, they have a point to prove here. In the World Cup, Spain qualified for 13 times already, and have won two titles in 2006 and 2019. Meanwhile, Ivory Coast already qualified in the World Cup for five times already, but from those matches, their best finish is a 13th place finish. While Spain wants to prove their FIBA rankings, Ivory Coast is aiming to at least have a better finish this time around. The meeting between these two teams is on August 26, 2023, at 9:30 PM (GMT+8).


FIBA World Cup: Spain
Photo courtesy of FIBA

Spain had five tune-up games as a preparation for the World Cup, where they had three wins, and loss to two. They won against Venezuela, Slovenia, and Dominican Republic, but failed to win against USA, and Canada. Moreover, since Spain are the defending champions, and topped the FIBA rankings, they are also one of the favorites to win the title. Although they lost to Canada on their last tune-up game, it will not affect Spain that match. They are a capable team, so expect them to at least make some adjustments here. For their group, they are going against Brazil, Iran, and Ivory Coast, where they are heavily favored to win the group. During the past years, even though they do not have the best squad, they were able to prove how capable they are.

Unfortunately though, they are without Ricky Rubio, who is one of the leaders and veteran for the Spanish squad. With that, they will be lead by Sergio Llull, and Rudy Fernandez, who are also one of the veterans for Spain.

Ivory Coast

FIBA World Cup: Ivory Coast
Photo courtesy of FIBA

Meanwhile, Ivory Coast had more tune-up matches than Spain, playing nine matches as a preparation for the World Cup. From those matches, they were able to win against Portugal, Czech Republic, Guinea twice, and Lebanon. On the other hand, their defeats are from Jordan, Philippines, and Bosnia & Herzegovina twice. From those matches, Ivory Coast saw some positivity from their results, as it is an indicator for their quality. In fact, they dominated their match against the Czech Republic, winning as many as 16 points. However, they are up against some of the tough teams in the World Cup, which will make it tougher for them. A win in this match is more than enough to boost their confidence, although it may be a little tougher. Nevertheless, Ivory Coast is not ready to back down, as they will go all-out to at least register a win.

Vafess Fofana will be leading this squad, as he is considered as the most important player for Ivory Coast in their campaign. Moreover, Nisse Zouzouna is also looking to be promising, as he is expected to provide numbers for his team.


Total Under: 89.5
Odds: 0.81

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