Ivory Coast has dealt with last month's failure in the African Cup by dropping Didier Drogba in switching its focus to next year's World Cup in Brazil.
New African champion Nigeria will also resume qualifying this weekend without a star, injured striker Emmanuel Emenike.
While desperately disappointed Ivorians not yet over the quarterfinal exit at the African Cup are pondering the future of their team and the 35-year-old Drogba, Nigerians are still celebrating their long-awaited title.
Among the 20 World Cup qualifying matches in Africa for Brazil 2014, Ivory Coast hosts Gambia, Nigeria faces Kenya, and Egyptian authorities are set to allow spectators in to watch the game against Zimbabwe, a significant move with Egypt still traumatized by a deadly riot at a football stadium a year ago.
Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Egypt all top their qualifying groups in the hunt for one of the five African places at the World Cup.
Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi told The Associated Press he drop...