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Kalou tips England for finals glory

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Salomon Kalou's World Cup hopes
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Salomon Kalou wants his Ivory Coast side to play England in World Cup
  • Kalou believes England can win World Cup if his own side fall short
  • Chelsea star believes key to Ivory Coast will be form of Chelsea teammate Didier Drogba

(CNN) -- Salomon Kalou wants his Ivory Coast side to face England in the World Cup despite tipping them to go all the way in the finals in South Africa next year.

The Chelsea star believes the Ivory Coast have all the credentials to make a big impression themselves, particularly if his club teammate Didier Drogba stays fit to lead their attack.

But he told CNN that England could claim their first global glory since winning the World Cup on home soil in 1966.

"I think England can do it," he said.

"It's been a long time for them and they always get to the quarterfinals, but I think this can be their year.

"Brazil are also going to be a strong opponent," he added.

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But Kalou, who has helped Chelsea to the top of the Premier League this season, wants his national side to test themselves against the best.

"It's very important to play against tough teams, it's how you learn."

Kalou has seen at close quarters how Drogba's pace and power has played such an important part for club and country this year.

"Every time he (Drogba) goes on the pitch he is 100 per cent sure he is going to score a goal, that's what makes him one of the best strikers in the world.

"I have learnt a lot from him and he gives me a lot of advice which help me." he said.

Ivory Coast will be in Pot 3 for Friday's World Cup draw in Cape Town and Kalou could get his wish with England as one of the eight seeded teams in Pot 1, throwing up the potential for a group stage clash.

Either way, the 24-year-old, who has played 17 times for his country, is looking forward to the "great experience" of playing in his first World Cup finals in South Africa.