AFCON 2023 FAQ: Find Out the Favourites and Wildcards for the Africa Cup of Nations

January 15, 2024

by xfcedi

AFCON 2023 FAQ: Find out the favourites and wildcards for the Africa Cup of Nations

By Eduard Bănulescu

AFCON 2023, played, in fact, at the start of 2024 in Cote d’Ivoire, brings together the African continent’s most important teams. Seemingly, there have never been more world-famous stars taking part in the competition.

It’s not just national pride that is at stake. There is genuine global interest in the competition, which can only help develop football on the African continent.

Here is essential information that you need to know about AFCON, including the team favourites, the wildcards and how the games will be organised.

Where is AFCON 2023 being held?

Cote d’Ivoire is the host nation of the final stage of the tournament, which began on January 13. The matches take place in the cities of Abidjan, Yamoussoukro, Bouaké, San-Pédro and Korhogo.

The AFCON 2023 final will be played at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan on February 12th, 2024.

What are the AFCON 2023 groups?

Group Teams
A Ivory CoastNigeriaEquatorial GuineaGuinea-Bissau
B EgyptGhanaCape VerdeMozambique
C SenegalCameroonGuineaGambia
D AlgeriaBurkina FasoMauritaniaAngola
E TunisiaMaliSouth AfricaNamibia
F MoroccoDemocratic Republic of the CongoZambiaTanzania

What’s the AFCON competition format?

Twenty-four teams are participating in the final stage of the tournament. This is played in a single-elimination format. Of the 24 teams drawn into six groups, sixteen will qualify for the knockout stage.

What are the favourites to win AFCON 2023?

The Africa Cup of Nations tournament is known for hosting many high-profile surprises over the years. Still, some of the high-profile national teams viewed from the onset as favourites to win this year’s tournament are:

Senegal is the current reigning champion of Africa. The team may be undergoing something of a generational change but still features a number of established, veteran players. These include Sadio Mane, Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly. They are managed by Aliou Cissé, who brought the team success during the last edition of AFCON.

Morocco features one of the most impressive squads of any national team in the world. Besides this, the team is riding high on the historic fourth-place finish achieved at the last World Cup. Achraf Hakimi is a world-class talent. He is joined by the likes of Adam Masina, Youssef En-Nesyri, and Hakim Ziyach.

Egypt is the most successful team in Africa Cup of Nations history, with seven titles. Last time around, they reached the final. Memories of that loss are still fresh in the minds of the players and fans. With a generational talent in Mohamed Salah, Egypt must be considered among the favourites for this year’s edition.

Nigeria is another team with a lot of experience and talent, especially in the attacking department (Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho). They have some players who are playing in the top leagues in Europe, and they are always dangerous opponents.

Who are AFCON’s wildcards?

Burkina Faso may not be a globally famous team. But they should be one of the most entertaining propositions. They reached the finals in 2013 and 2017, and since then the value of the squad has seemingly only grown.

Guinea-Bissau is a team that has made significant progress in recent years. Many of their players are active in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. Although they lost the opening game to Cote d’Ivoire, they could still cause surprises.

Cameroon are usually among the favourites to win the title. However, too much uncertainty and fluctuating results have plagued the team in recent years. Still, the experience of players like Napoli’s Zambo Anguissa or Manchester United’s Andre Onana should not be overlooked.

What are some of the high-profile African teams that have not qualified for the final stage of AFCON 2023?

The majority of established African teams have qualified for the final stage of the AFCON tournament. Teams missing from the tournament include Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Comoros.

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