Drogba rested again by Ivory Coast
The same privilege has not be accorded to any other of the team's big-name players such as Emmanuel Eboue, Kolo Toure, his brother Yaya and Salomon Kalou, who are all in the 20-man squad for the Group H game in Abidjan.
Drogba's place is taken again by Monaco's Yannick Sagbo, who won his first cap earlier this month when the Ivorians beat Italy 1-0 in London earlier this month without the Chelsea forward.
Sagbo is one of only three squad members who did not go to the World Cup in South Africa as new coach Francois Zahoui, only last week confirmed as the replacement for Sven Goran Eriksson, kept faith with his predecessor's choices.
The midfield pair of Kafoumba Coulibaly and Emerse Fae from French club Nice have both returned to the squad after being overlooked for South Africa.
Goalkeepers: Boubacar Barry (Lokeren, Belgium), Daniel Yeboah (ASEC Abidjan)
Defenders: Souleymane Bamba (Hibernian, Scotland), Arthur Boka (VfB Stuttgart, Germany), Guy Demel (Hamburg SV, Germany), Emmanuel Eboue (Arsenal, England), Steve Gohouri (Wigan Athletic, England), Siaka Tiene (Valenciennes, France), Kolo Toure (Manchester City, England), Didier Zokora (Sevilla, Spain)
Midfielders: Kafoumba Coulibaly, Emerse Fae (both Nice, France), Emmanuel Kone (Cluj, Romania), Christian Koffi Ndri (Sevilla, Spain), Cheik Ismael Tiote (Newcastle United, England), Yaya Toure (Manchester City, England)
Forwards: Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Salomon Kalou (Chelsea, England), Gervais Yao Kouassi (Lille, France), Yannick Sagbo (Monaco, France).