2017 African Cup of Nations betting preview
On 14 January, the 31st African Cup of Nations will begin, with Gabon hosting the tournament that will feature sixteen of the best teams on the continent.
Gabon qualified for AFCON as hosts and will be hoping to match their quarter final appearances of 1996 and 2012 with the goodwill of their nation behind them.
The Panthers have a particular jewel in the crown in the form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who is one of the most potent strikers in the world and will lead the team forward as captain.
Stranger things have happened than Gabon winning AFCON and they are 11.00 (10/1) with BetVictor . They have been afforded an easy-looking group and will be expected to go through to the knockout stage.
However, Aubemeyang may not carry them all the way to glory, with other teams looking better equipped and Algeria are now managed by the highly-experienced Georges Leekens. The Belgian has had an illustrious managerial career and should get the best from a talented bunch of players.
Riyad Mahrez is the star man of the team and will be motivated to do well as the reigning African footballer of the year, with club team-mate Islam Slimani a potent operator and El Arabi Hillel Soudani also making the net bulge regularly for both Dinamo Zagreb and the Fennec Foxes.
BetVictor offer odds of 9.00 (8/1) about an AFCON win for the Algerians, although they have been drawn in a tough group which includes Senegal, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.
The Senegalese side have Liverpool’s Sadio Mane in their ranks, with Everton’s Idrissa Gueye a tough-tackling midfielder joined by Mohamed Diame of Newcastle United.
All of these players are high class and would get into most international teams, with Cheikh Kouyate of West Ham also a powerful player which means this is a side who will be strong throughout.
Senegal are 7.00 (6/1) with BetVictor for the win and could be highly dangerous even if they don’t have the strongest defence in the competition.
Egypt are a 10.00 (9/1) chance with bet365 and they have been thrust into a group with Ghana, Mali and Uganda, with the latter expected to be whipping boys.
The Egyptians boast a strong AFCON record which actually saw them win in 2006, 2008 and 2010, although political struggles have seen them fail to qualify for the past three renewals.
Now the Pharoahs are back and it’s a side who know each other well considering that virtually the whole squad operate in their native Egypt at club level, with Zamalek’s Basem Morsy having scored seven goals in ten appearances.
Ghana are another team hovering at a similar price and the Black Pearls have a fine pedigree which saw them reach the final two years ago before losing on penalties to the Ivory Coast. Cameroon are slightly bigger and don’t look a vintage side anymore.