As anticipation builds for the Africa Cup of Nations, football enthusiasts around the globe are eager to identify the standout teams that emerge as favourites for the coveted title. The tournament, known for its thrilling matches and fierce competition, showcases the best football talent from the continent. Here are the favourites to win the Africa Cup of Nations 2023.
Since Egypt’s historic triple win in 2006, 2008, and 2010, no defending champions of the Africa Cup of Nations have successfully clinched back-to-back titles in the subsequent editions. However, after securing their first-ever victory in 2021 and reaching two consecutive finals, Senegal harbors dreams of breaking this trend. Bolstered by a formidable lineup featuring talents like Sadio Mané, Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly, Idrissa Gueye, and Ismaïla Sarr, the Lions of Teranga appear well-equipped to challenge this curse, having maintained an unbeaten record during the qualifiers. The football world eagerly awaits to see if Senegal can rewrite history and secure consecutive Africa Cup of Nations triumphs.
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Having recently achieved the historic feat of becoming the first African nation to reach the World Cup semifinals in Qatar, Morocco is poised to translate its success to the continental stage. Since their solitary title win in 1976, securing another Africa Cup of Nations trophy has remained an elusive goal. Nonetheless, Morocco boasts considerable assets that position them as top contenders. With an impressive FIFA ranking of 13th, the highest among all participating teams, Morocco will field a squad featuring standout players from leading clubs. The likes of Achraf Hakimi, Yassine Bounou, Sofyan Amrabat, Youssef En-Nesyri, and Hakim Ziyech are expected to play pivotal roles in Morocco’s pursuit of reclaiming Africa’s most coveted football title. The football world awaits to see if Morocco can parlay its recent global success into a triumph on the African stage.
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On the surface, Côte d’Ivoire may appear slightly beneath the likes of Senegal or Morocco on the footballing scale. However, the dynamics change significantly when considering the advantage of playing on home turf. This advantage becomes even more pronounced for the Ivorian squad, seeking redemption after their heart-wrenching elimination by Egypt on penalties (0-0 AET; 4-5 penalties) during the 2021 edition’s Round-of-16 stage. Under the guidance of Jean-Louis Gasset, the Elephants boast a formidable lineup with experienced players, including Ibrahim Sangaré, Franck Kessié, Jonathan Bamba, Seko Fofana, and Sébastien Haller. As the host nation, Côte d’Ivoire aims to leverage this home advantage and turn the tide in their favor in the quest for Africa’s prestigious football title.
Algeria presents a certain unpredictability in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, embodying a dichotomy of excellence and disappointment. Following their triumphant victory in 2019, the Fennecs faced a harsh reality check with an unexpected early exit in the group stage of the 2021 edition and the subsequent failure to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. Nevertheless, under the guidance of Djamel Belmadi, the team possesses a roster of quality players capable of rectifying their recent setbacks. Notably, the inclusion of dual-nationality players Houssem Aouar and Amine Gouiri adds depth and versatility to Algeria’s line-up. As the tournament unfolds, the football world awaits to witness which face of Algeria will emerge – one of redemption or continued challenges.
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Egypt should not be underestimated, standing as the most successful team in Africa Cup of Nations history with seven titles. While their last triumph dates back to 2010, their consistent performance is evident in reaching the final in both 2017 and 2021, albeit losing on penalties to Senegal. Despite a squad that may seem less flashy compared to some competitors, Egypt possesses a formidable asset in Mohamed Salah. The Liverpool star, undoubtedly motivated, seeks to add an Africa Cup of Nations title to his illustrious career. With Salah’s prowess and the team’s rich history, Egypt remains a formidable contender, capable of making a significant impact in the pursuit of another continental triumph.