Mid-Day Ticker: Ivory Coast settles on Sven, Ribery gets fit and more

Mid-Day Ticker: Ivory Coast settles on Sven, Ribery gets fit and more

European Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Ivory Coast settles on Sven, Ribery gets fit and more

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SvenReuters

By AVI CREDITOR

After failing to lure Guus Hiddink into a two-month coaching stint, the Ivory Coast has settled on Sven-Goran Eriksson to guide its squad in this summer's World Cup.

Eriksson, the former Mexico and England manager, replaces Vahid Halihodzic, who was let go after the Ivory Coast's disappointing result in the African Cup of Nations.

Hiddink was the Ivory Coast's first choice to be coach, but complications surrounding his current contract with Russia, which expires in June, and his future contract with Turkey, which starts in August, made it impossible for him to take the job.

The Elephants are in perhaps the World Cup's toughest group, Group G, which also features Brazil, Portugal and North Korea, who proved to be a pesky opponent in a 2-1 loss to Mexico last week. 

Here are a few other soccer stories from around the world:

RIBERY TO BE READY FOR RED DEVILS

Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery will be fit for the team's Champions League quarterfinal clash with Manchester United next week.

Ribery, who has missed his club's last two games with an ankle injury, is set to return to action on Wednesday in Bayern Munich's DFB Cup match against Schalke.

IVANOVIC OUT A MONTH

Chelsea's defense was dealt another blow with the news that Branislav Ivanovic will be forced to miss a month with a torn knee ligament. 

The Serbian international hurt his knee in Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Blackburn on Sunday, joining Jose Bosingwa and Ashley Cole as injured members of Chelsea's back line. Keeper Petr Cech has also been out for a month, but the BBC reports that he could be fit to face Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Wednesday.

VERMAELEN APPEAL REJECTED

Arsenal's appeal of a red card to defender Thomas Vermaelen has been rejected, and the star defender will miss the Gunners' next match as a result.

Vermaelen took down West Ham's Guillermo Franco in the box on Saturday and received a straight red; however, because the red wasn't for violent conduct he avoided a three-match ban, according to Sky Sports. Arsenal, just two points behind leaders Manchester United in the Premier League title chase, plays at Birmingham Saturday.

SOCCEROO DEFENDER TO MISS WORLD CUP

Australia's defensive depth took a hit with word that Leeds United defender Patrick Kisnorbo has ruptured his Achilles tendon, meaning he is likely to miss the World Cup.

Kisnorbo, who has 18 caps with the national team, was thought to be included in the squad by manager Pim Verbeek, who will step down after this summer's competition.

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Do you think Sven is the right hire for the Ivory Coast? What are Bayern Munich's chances at taking down Manchester United? Can Chelsea's defense survive without Ivanovic? Arsenal's without Vermaelen? Do you expect Australia to contend in Group D?

Share your thoughts below.

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