Crystal Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha is missing but Ivory Coast have named Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe and Manchester United’s Amad Diallo in their 24-man squad for next month’s international friendly matches.
The Elephants are scheduled to play Burkina Faso in Abidjan on June 5 before traveling to Cape Coast to battle Ghana, eight days later.
While there is no official statement regarding Zaha’s omission, Sochaux goalscoring machine Chris Bedia has been handed his maiden invitation to the Ivory Coast national team after he scored nine goals in 35 Ligue 2 matches this season.
Diallo is joined in the selection by his brother Hamed Traore who plies his trade at Sassuolo and 20-year-old Torino defender Wilfried Singo.
The two games are expected to prepare Patrice Beaumelle’s team for their 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifying campaign which will start in September.
Ivory Coast are in Group D alongside Cameroon, Mozambique and Malawi.
Goalkeepers: Sylvain Gbohouo (TP Mazembe – DR Congo) Ali Sangare Badra (JDR Stars – South Africa).
Defenders: Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur – England) Willy Boly (Wolverhampton Wanderers – England) Wilfried Singo (Torino FC – Italy) Eric Bertrand Bailly (Manchester United – England) Diomande Sinaly (Olympique Lyon – France) Wilfried Kanon (Al Gharafa – Qatar) Hassane Kamara (OGC Nice – France) Odilon Kossounou (Club Brugge – Belgium) Maxwell Cornet (Olympique Lyon – France)
Midfielders: Serey Die Geoffroy (FC Sion – Switzerland) Sangare Ibrahim (PSV Eindhoven – Netherlands) Ismaila Wafougossani Soro (Celtic FC – Scotland) Franck Yannick Kessie (AC Milan – Italy) Serge Arnaud Aka (El Gouna – Egypt) Hamed Junior Traore (US Sassuolo – Italy) Max Alain Gradel (Sivasspor – Turkey) Amad Diallo Traore (Manchester United – England).
Forwards: Junior Lago (Real Mallorca – Spain) Sebastien Haller (Ajax Amsterdam – Netherlands) Christian Koffi Kouame (Fiorentina – Italy) Jeremie Boga (US Sassuolo – Italy) Chris Vianney Bedia (FC Sochaux – France).