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Eriksson suggests Drogba will start against Brazil

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -- Ivory Coast's trainer Sven-Goran Eriksson has hinted that striker Didier Drogba may be fit to start in its second World Cup game against Brazil on Sunday in Johannesburg despite a fractured arm.

"Do not be surprised if Didier Drogba starts the next game against Brazil," Ivory Coast football federation ( reported the Swedish coach saying.

"He (Drogba) made a valuable contribution in the 25 minutes he was on the pitch against Portugal," Eriksson said.

Drogba, following a speedy recovery, was cleared to play in Ivory Coast's first World Cup game with a protective cast on the right arm he fractured during a friendly game against Japan.

"He is an important player in the team ... and his health has improved markedly," Eriksson said.

Following a goalless draw in its first match against Portugal, Ivory Coast face world number one ranked Brazil in their second game in the group that includes North Korea.

Eriksson said although he respected Brazil, he was not scared by the prospect of playing against one of the best teams in the world.

"It is going to be a difficult game, but looking at what we did against Portugal, we are capable of creating a surprise against Brazil," he said.

Brazil top the World Cup Group G with 3 points after scraping a 2-1 win over North Korea in their first game.

England, coached by Eriksson, lost to Brazil 2-1 in the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals which the South Americans went on to win.