World Cup betting lines shrink on Ivory Coast after Toure Injury

Richard Heathcote

Ivory Coast was among several teams that saw their World Cup 2014 odds dwindle with injuries this week.

The Ivory Coast is the highest ranked team in Africa in the FIFA World Rankings and is currently going off at +400 in current Group C betting odds.

Ivory Coast could have to do without one of its best players as Yaya Toure suffered a groin injury in Premier League play this week.

The injury couldn't have come at a worse time for Toure, who is enjoying a career season with Manchester City this year. The star midfielder has 18 goals in 31 appearances for Man City in 2013-14, matching his goal total from the previous three years combined.

With the exception of Didier Drogba, no player means more to the Ivory Coast offense than Yaya Toure. Ivory Coast will try to advance out of Group C facing Colombia (-150 to win the group), Japan (+450) and Greece (+900). The team is going off at 125/1 in odds to win the 2014 World Cup.

Germany is still the odds-on favorite to win Group G at -180 and also one of the top contenders to win the World Cup at 5/1. But the Germans will have to do so without Ilkay Gundogan, the talented 23-year-old midfielder star of Borussia Dortmund.

Gundogan's playmaking creativity will be missed, but the Germans are one of the deepest teams in the world and should be able to withstand the blow.

The United States is a +1000 longshot to win Group G and a 100/1 longshot to win the World Cup. In order to have a shot at doing some damage, Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann and Landon Donovan are going to need to get on the same page.

Donovan wasn't in Klinsmann's starting lineup in a recent friendly against Mexico, a decision he said that he made based on Donovan's form during training.

Donovan admits that he was playing hurt with a knee issue and insists that he understood Klinsmann's decision. But as the heart and soul of US Soccer, Landon Donovan's struggles on the national team are a concern with the World Cup tournament rapidly approaching.

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