The most successful national team of the continent with seven championships, Mohamed Salah’s Egypt are favourites to win the tournament, which kicks off this Friday, 21 June
The FIFA Men’s World Cup and the UEFA Champions League may be long over. Nevertheless, football lovers worldwide have nothing to complain about, since this week will boast the likes of the second round of the Copa America and the FIFA Women’s World Cup, as well as the start of the 32nd edition of the Egypt-hosted 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. The Pharaohs come on top to claim it, according to the odds. The question is: can the Super Eagles stop them on their home turf?
First things first
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Where should I be investing my money?
The football world has had its eyes set on Brazil and France, who are hosting the Copa America and FIFA Women’s World Cup, respectively. Now, however, is the time for Africa to step in, with Egypt due to host the 32nd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations or AFCON, as it is widely known, starting this Friday, 21 June.
Biggest title-holders at seven wins, in addition to playing in front of their home crowd this time around, Mohamed Salah & co understandably come in first when it comes to chances of taking the tournament.
According to website Oddsshark,the Pharaohs, who will play against Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe in Group A, have 5.00 odds of lifting the trophy for the eighth time. In theory, their relatively easy group favours them considerably.
Next up come powerhouse Ghana, priced at 6.75 to be the victors of the tournament and claim their fifth cup. Though the Black Stars last lifted the AFCON trophy way back in 1982, they have been runners-up in recent years, namely in 2010 and 2015, and are in good shape, with talent in the likes of Ayew, Asamoah and Gyan to end their dry spell. The downside may be a tough Group D, where they’ll have to battle it out with competitive squads Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau.
Do Senegal have what it takes to claim their first AFCON?
Though they have never managed to win the Africa Cup of Nations and have a second place in 2002 as their best result to show for thus far, Senegal is possibly the most complete side in this edition of the AFCON. They certainly have no shortage of talent, with stars like Mané, Koulibably, Sarr and Kouyaté, among others, to boast.
Additionally, the Lions of Teranga’s Group C looks rather uncomplicated. With the exception of the traditional Algerian side, winners of the 1990 edition and runners-up exactly a decade prior to that, who should have no issues in securing a second place, Tanzania and Kenya don’t seem to pose any major threats. Neither side has ever managed to make it past the group stage of the main African continental football competition.
This explains why Oddssharkputs Senegal in third place at 7.00 odds to lift the trophy for the first time in their history. A tough side to beat, betting a mere US$5 of your money on them could make for a US$35 return.
Super Eagles ranked fourth to win the 2019 AFCON
Now let’s talk about Nigeria. Led by coach Gernot Rohr, the Super Eagles are looking to renew their roster of national team players and have no major names in their ranks, as opposed, for instance, to the star-packed Nigerian teams of the 80s and 90s. On the other hand, it would be no major surprise if this fresh blood managed to pull off major upsets in the competition.
Our boys, whose opening match will be against Burundi on Saturday, 22 June, are priced at 9.00 and come in fourth place to claim their fourth title, which would be their first since the 2013 South-Africa hosted edition.
Mikel, Iwobi & co share Group B with AFCON debutants Madagascar and Burundi, in addition to Keita and Kamano’s always tough Guinea side. The top five to claim the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is completed by Morocco, who stand at 9.50 odds of winning their second cup.
2019 Africa Cup of Nations Outrights:
Egypt – 5.00
Ghana – 6.75
Senegal – 7.00
Nigeria – 9.00
Morocco – 9.50
Ivory Coast – 10.75
Algeria – 12.50
Tunisia – 14.50
Cameroon – 15.00
Mali – 15.00