Ivory Coast are waiting on the fitness of key men Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure ahead of their FIFA World Cup opener against Japan.
Veteran striker Drogba handed coach Sabri Lamouchi a scare in preparation for the Group C match at Recife's Arena Pernambuco on Saturday when he limped out of Thursday morning's training session.
The 36-year-old collided with defender Didier Zokora and sustained a knock to his thigh and Lamouchi is likely to turn to Swansea City's Wilfried Bony to lead the attack if Drogba is unable to fully recover in time.
Toure's own thigh injury is a longer-term complaint that he sustained during Manchester City's 3-2 defeat at Liverpool in April before returning to inspire Manuel Pellegrini's team to the Premier League title.
Nursing himself through those late-season heroics came at a price for Toure and his national team and the 31-year-old midfielder has not taken part in any of the Ivory Coast's recent warm-up friendlies.
If Toure is passed fit, as brother Kolo has been despite a recent bout of malaria, he will pose a key threat to Japan - a vibrant and inventive side under the guidance of wily Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni.
But Japan's own midfield lynchpin Keisuke Honda believes it would be foolish to focus on the potential impact of one player when faced with the Ivory Coast, who failed to progress beyond the 2006 and 2010 World Cup group stages despite having a lavishly gifted group at their disposal.
"No doubt that he (Yaya Toure) is the player we need to be aware of, but they also have several players who play at the top level alongside him - strikers, central midfielders and defenders," Honda said. "So we need to beware all of those players as well."
Honda himself hopes to make a statement at the World Cup having suffered a difficult start to life at Milan following a January switch to Serie A from CSKA Moscow.
Zaccheroni this week offered public backing amid questions over the playmaker's form and Honda outlined the rigorous schedule he has endured to make sure he hits peak World Cup fitness.
"I'm working on it so hard," he said.
"I worked myself into a condition where I accumulated fatigue intentionally during the camps and I'm trying to recover from that fatigue now.
"There are times that I can reach the best condition when this procedure offsets the balance of playing games, but it is really difficult and it is not the kind of thing you can always do as you like."
Ivory Coast defensive midfielder Cheick Tiote could have an important role in shackling the creative talents of Honda and Shinji Kagawa.
Amid the star names he shares a dressing room with, the Newcastle United player believes Lamouchi has the right approach to slot the Ivory Coast's impressive squad together into a formidable unit.
"He's a good manager and a good coach," Tiote told the Newcastle Chronicle. "He speaks with everybody.
"When some players didn't play he went to speak to them. He tells them they have to be ready because the national team is not just about one player.
"Everyone has to be ready and when you get the opportunity you have to take it.
"He's a good manager who talks a lot with the players about what we have to do on the pitch."
Japan head into the game having won their last five games, a run that included a 3-2 victory over Belgium in Brussels.
|Coach: S. Lamouchi|
for S. Dié 62'
for A. Boka 75'
for W. Bony 78'
|Argentina v Ecuador: Aguero the man to watch in Messi´s absence|
|Walcott vows to deliver Arsenal form for England|
|I wish we could stop the Pique whistles, says Nolito|
|Insigne withdraws from Italy squad|
|Luongo thought Ballon d´Or nod was a joke|
|Muller pays tribute to ´great role model´ Gerd|
|Nolito: Barcelona rumours won´t change me|
|Chung Mong-joon vows to sue ´hypocrite´ Blatter|
|Fast-paced England can go far at Euro 2016 - King|
|Adverse WADA findings down in 2014|
|Vertonghen hoping to see Kompany play for Belgium|
|Nedved: Morata´s future is at Juventus|
|Costa´s poor Spain form understandable - Mata|
|I have to get the better of Schweinsteiger - Meyler|
|Ancelotti: I will return next season|
|Depay: Criticism does not affect me|
|Ozil: Arsenal do not fear Bayern Munich|
|Cristiano Ronaldo will retire at Real Madrid - Ancelotti|
|Beckham: Don´t write off Rooney|
|Bigas: I did not deliberately injure Messi|
|Inter training was boring - Kovacic|
|Klopp can be Liverpool ´immortal´ - Hamann|
|I had my best season under Benitez - Mata|
|Neymar will break my record anyway - Kaka|
|Chile v Brazil: Dunga aware of qualifying difficulties|
|Wanyama has ´forgotten´ about failed Tottenham move|
|United won´t end up like Liverpool - Beckham|
|Bolivia v Uruguay: Tabarez wary of La Paz altitude|
|Cabaye unsurprised by Martial talent|
|Enyeama rift just a ´misunderstanding´|
|´I´m ready to go´ - Bale|
|Osorio set to take charge of Mexico|
|Lewandowski expects to be targeted by Scotland|
|Kramaric frustrated with Leicester role|
|Fowler: I´d love to join Klopp at Liverpool|
|Nigeria v DR Congo: Visa chaos undermines friendly|
|Ramos: Benitez can speak to me about penalty|
|Portugal v Denmark: Ronaldo & Co on the brink of Euro 2016 finals|
|You can´t build a team around Ronaldo - Cruyff|
|Germany without Podolski for final qualifiers|
|Bosnia hopeful Dzeko can face Wales|
|Sevilla rule out move for United outcast Valdes|
|Kovacic criticises distant relationship with Mancini|
|England call up Walker, Townsend as Stones drops out|
|Amalfitano released by West Ham|
|Torres defends Benitez over ´defensive´ jibes|
|Beckham predicts Premier League return for Ancelotti|
|Cabaye relishing competition from Diarra|
|Dybala is already a star - Martino|
|Bayern and Germany legend Muller suffering from Alzheimer´s|
|Diarra thanks Deschamps for France recall|
|Scotland v Poland: Newcomer Shinnie boosted by confidence in Strachan´s squad|
|Doumbia rules out Roma return|
|France v Armenia: Deschamps has faith in Giroud|
|Cruyff critical of Van Gaal and Mourinho|
|Kuwait v South Korea: Perfect records on the line|
|Sneijder: Netherlands face two finals to reach France|
|Beckham backs Giggs as future Manchester United manager|
|Northern Ireland v Greece: Norwood confident of qualification|
|Jovetic slams ´absurd´ injury reports|
|Keane slams Sunderland hierarchy after Advocaat exit|
|Republic of Ireland v Germany: Gundogan doesn´t want to play for a draw|
|Beckham reflects fondly on relationship with Ferguson|
|Tax charges dropped against Messi|
|Gundogan: Klopp would be a great fit for Liverpool|
|´He didn´t have the baby´ - New father Keane expected to line-up for Ireland|
|Bertrand eager to state England case|
|Nedved warns Pogba: You can´t have everything|
|Sakho: I was like a caged lion on the sidelines|
|Honda hits back at Mihajlovic: There´s no point in blaming the players|
|Tottenham´s fitness too much for opponents - Dier|
|Ramos withdraws from Spain squad due to shoulder injury|
|Gundogan and Boateng praise in-form Muller|
|Janmaat ruled out of Netherlands qualifiers|
|Benitez: Defensive? My Napoli team scored 104 goals!|
|Ronaldo not untouchable and will be rested, says Benitez|
|Barca, Madrid and United are Bayern´s Champions League rivals - Effenberg|
|Neymar will stay at Barcelona for his ´entire life´ - Robert|
|Klopp would deliver at any club - Can|
|O´Neill: I didn´t prostitute myself for Grealish|
|Mourinho burning out his players - Capello|
|Lewandowski´s stunning form ´does not make Poland a better team´|
|Barcelona are looking at January signings, confirms Robert|
|Deschamps: I won´t sub Benzema|
|Chung Mong-Joon expects FIFA suspension|
|Mourinho: Ferguson knew I didn´t want United job|
|Ferguson´s hairdryer treatment inspired players – Ronaldo|
|Jordan v Australia: Visitors ready for tough trip|
|Falcao confident of Chelsea turnaround|
|Syria v Japan: Top spot up for grabs|
|Euro giants are scared of playing Wales - Coleman|
|Benzema must convert more chances - Benitez|
|Nasri happy for future without France|
|Van Persie situation concerns Blind|
|Walcott almost unstoppable - Coquelin|
|Bale named as Wales player of the year once more|
|Rojo latest player ruled out of Argentina qualifiers|
|Rooney underwhelmed by Capello as England manager|
|Martial keen to play down ´new Henry´ tag|
|Watzke dismisses Dortmund´s Bundesliga prospects|
|Deschamps calls for Pogba improvement|
|Totti steps up injury rehab|
|Watzke talks up ´great coach´ Klopp amid Liverpool rumours|
|Del Bosque calls up San Jose, Etxeita and Gaspar after injury setbacks|
|Cech happy to see Sanchez back up to top speed|
|Swiss authorities reject FIFA official´s extradition appeal|
|Casillas impressed by ´fantastic´ Navas|
|Rodgers expects transitional Liverpool to improve following sacking|
|Mourinho charged by FA|
|Messi´s absence no excuse for Argentina - Mascherano|
|Deschamps praises Martial for tackling doubters over United move|
|Inter have faith in Mancini - Zanetti|
|Romero accepts number two status behind De Gea|
|Lokomotiv Moscow charged with ´racist behaviour´|
|Deco: Ronaldo dedication borders on sickness|
|Conte calls for Balotelli consistency after Berardi blow|
|Mata: United unacceptable at Arsenal|
|Carvajal blow for Spain as Real confirm ankle injury|
|Xavi wants Barcelona return|
|Bayern can be super successful this season - Effenberg|
|´Stop e-mailing about Muller´ - Rummenigge warns Manchester United|
|Chile are not favourites against Brazil - Jefferson|
|Lewandowski success down to absence of Robben and Ribery - Beckenbauer|
|Deco: Mourinho playing games with the media|
|Pauleta challenges Ibrahimovic to deliver Champions League for PSG|
|Ched Evans case referred to Court of Appeal|
|Pardew hails ´lieutenant´ Cabaye|
|Mourinho receives Chelsea backing|
|Neymar must not focus on replacing Messi - Juninho|
|Insigne warns against Maradona comparisons|
|Navas: Research helped me save Griezmann penalty|
|Benzema unhappy with substitution|
|Mertesacker hails Sanchez and Ozil|
|Struggle against relegation ´not my cup of tea´ - Advocaat|
|We are behind De Boer - Bazoer|
|Ibrahimovic: I want to continue making history at PSG|
|Beckenbauer: Bayern and Guardiola are a perfect fit|
|Carrick: Manchester United will come back stronger|
|Redknapp plays down Sunderland talk|
|Lacazette replaces Ntep in France squad|
|Aguero on par with Messi and Suarez, says Zabaleta|
|"Special" Klopp perfect for Liverpool - Redknapp|
|Dybala: Juventus must improve defensively|
|Kaka replaces Coutinho in Brazil squad|
|Cazorla: Arsenal´s changed mentality made the difference|
|A-League Preview: Victory the team to beat in bid for back-to-back titles|
|Gervinho favouritism talk ´nonsense´ - Garcia|
|Benitez explains Benzema substitution|
|Klaassen, Promes withdrawn from Dutch squad|
|MLS Review: Galaxy, Dallas into play-offs|
|Aguero at Messi, Ronaldo level - Pellegrini|
|Sampdoria ´could´ve won 11-1´ - president Ferrero|
|Mihajlovic: I will not resign|
|Derby draw a good result - Benzema|
|I´ll quit if the players don´t trust me - Mourinho|
|Simeone disappointed not to claim derby victory|
|Blanc not surprised by record-breaking Ibrahimovic|
|Serie A Review: Fiorentina out in front as Napoli thump Milan|
|Benitez rues dropped points|
|Allegri: No crisis at Juventus|