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Ivory Coast v Japan preview

Yaya Toure is in a race to be fit for Ivory Coast’s opening game against Japan in World Cup Group C.

The Manchester City midfielder suffered hamstring problems during the finale of the Premier League season and underwent surgery in Qatar last month, which has limited his training time with the Elephants.

Toure, whose 20 league goals helped City to the domestic title this season, will find out on Saturday whether he is fit enough to face the Samurai Blue.

Ivory Coast's coach Sabri Lamouchi admits the midfielder is not fully fit, telling reporters: "Yaya is currently recovering and everything is going well. But he is not back to full fitness yet.

"You will have to wait until Saturday to see if he will be playing or not."

Despite concerns over Toure's fitness, Lamouchi has no other injury problems heading into the game and is expected to start with a three-pronged attack of ex-Premier League players - with Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Gervinho set to play.

Meanwhile, Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni has been boosted by the return of captain Makoto Hasebe, having recovered from a serious knee injury.

The Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder was absent for Japan's three warm-up games - wins against Cyprus, Costa Rica and Zambia - but believes he is now fully fit.

"There is no problem and I have been taking part in full training," he said.

"Obviously it is the coach that decides but I am ready to go."

Zaccheroni's team head into the game injury-free, and the former AC Milan boss believes his side have the quality to compete in Group C - which also features Colombia and Greece.

"I have confidence in this team," he said."I like how it has been built from a technical level and a physical one.

"I believe we can do well but it all depends on us."