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Africa Cup Of Nations Preview

Africa Cup Of Nations Preview

The Africa Cup of Nations is the most prestigious international soccer tournament on the continent. The 2017 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations is set to start on January 14 when the host nation of Gabon takes on Guinea-Bissau. The winner of the tournament automatically earns a spot in the upcoming FIFA Confederations Cup. A lot of the African teams are evenly matched, so this should be a highly entertaining tournament. Here is a preview of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Group A
The host nation of Gabon got a relatively easy draw in Group A, but it is still hard to imagine them advancing to the next round. Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Guinea-Gissau simply have better teams than Gabon at the moment. Cameroon has played great soccer leading up to the tournament, so they have to be the favorite in the group. Burkina Faso has a history of performing well in the Africa Cup of Nations, so they likely narrowly edge out Guinea-Gissau for a spot in the knockout stage.
Group B
This is easily the toughest group in the entire tournament. Group B consists of Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal and Zimbabwe. Since they will face three of the top five ranked teams in Africa, Zimbabwe has absolutely no chance to advance in the tournament. Senegal, Tunisia and Algeria all have enough talent to win the entire tournament, but one of them will be sent home after three games. Tunisia had the weakest performance during the qualification process, so Algeria and Senegal are the favorites to advance.
Group C
Ivory Coast, Morocco, Togo and DR Congo are the four teams playing their opening games in Group C. Ivory Coast and DR Congo are easily the two best teams in this group, and they should have no problem advancing to the next round of the tournament. If there is an upset in the group, then it will be Morocco stealing a spot from DR Congo. Togo is an improving team, but they are still too inexperienced to get enough points needed to advance.
Group D
Group D is arguably the weakest in the tournament with Egypt, Uganda, Mali, Ghana. Egypt is rapidly becoming a powerhouse in African soccer, so they will easily advance. While Ghana is unlikely to repeat their second place finish from 2015, they are still talented enough to get a spot in the knockout stage. Mali has had a few good showings in this tournament recently, but they have not played good soccer recently.
Knockout Stage
While there are a handful of teams that can win the Africa Cup of Nations this year if they get the right draw in the knockout stage, there are still a few top contenders heading into the tournament. Egypt and Ivory Coast look like the two teams most likely to get to the finals. The Egyptian team is loaded with talented players that are playing the best soccer of their career, so they look like a safe bet to win their eighth Africa Cup of Nations.




Writer: Cliff Peterson

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