The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is Africa’s premier men’s international football competition. Held every two years, it pits the best national teams from across the continent against each other in a month-long tournament to crown the kings of African football.
First contested in 1957 with just three participating countries, the Africa Cup of Nations has grown into Africa’s most prominent football event. The tournament was supposed to be held in 2023, but the CAF (Confederation of African Football) postponed it to 2024 due to unfavourable weather conditions.
Ivory Coast will host AFCON 2024 as the best players and prominent coaches from across Africa descend, hoping to lead their nation to victory. Since the 2019 expansion from 16 to 24 teams, many online sports betting experts believe that the competition has become much more challenging.
AFCON 24 Groups
With the group stage draw complete, football fans across Africa are buzzing with anticipation, particularly when it comes to the question: which group is the toughest? However, before we get to that, let’s see which groups the teams landed in.
- Equatorial Guinea
- Ivory Coast
- Cape Verde
- Burkina Faso
- South Africa
- DR Congo
Every squad will face the other three teams in its group. The two teams with the most points at the end of the group stage will advance to the next round. There is also a spot for four more countries. The top four teams in third place will also advance as the top losers.
The AFCON 24 Favourites
In the past 10 editions of the tournament, eight different champions have emerged. The 2021 AFCON, which took place in Cameroon, was won by Senegal.
Senegal had participated in 16 AFCON competitions before, but this was their first-ever trophy. It was a well-deserved victory, considering that Senegal never lost a single match during the tournament.
After making the finals in 2019 and winning in 2021, Senegal is expected to defend their title vigorously. Egypt has the most AFCON championships, having taken home seven trophies. The team has also made the finals twice in the last three editions.
Cameroon is right behind with five trophies. Ghana has also triumphed four times. Algeria emerged victorious in the 2019 tournament and has a quality 2024 squad to support them.
Morocco has also performed exceptionally well lately, making it to the 2022 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals.
Teams to Watch
The Africa Cup of Nations is Africa’s most significant international football championship. It’s hugely popular, particularly in South Africa. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that many websites have appeared to be making AFCON predictions.
It’s a little too early in the tournament to narrow down the favourites properly, but fans and bettors should keep an eye on the following teams:
- Senegal (Group C)
- Egypt (Group B)
- Cameroon (Group C)
- Ghana (Group B)
- Morocco (Group F)
The Toughest AFCON 24 Group
Each group boasts its own blend of heavyweights and underdogs, promising dramatic clashes and nail-biting encounters. Based on the above favourite teams, we expect the most formidable group to be either Group B or C.
Two exceptional teams in Group B should advance to the knockout stage. Mohamed Salah from Liverpool makes Egypt a historical powerhouse and a constant favourite. The Pharaohs (Egypt) are in great form.
They have secured eight victories in their past 10 games across various competitions. They should win Group B and defeat a determined Ghana. However, Ghana may surprise us as the team is full of top players with invaluable experience.
With players such as Mohammed Kudus of West Ham, Inaki Williams of Bilbao, Ernest Nuamah of Lyon, and the experienced André Ayew of Le Havre, Ghana has shown remarkable progress and is now a strong contender.
Senegal is ready to take the lead in Group C, with Cameroon following closely behind. Senegal, the reigning champions, are taking advantage of their excellent form. In the next competition in Ivory Coast, their strong team aims to repeat their previous success.
Senegal will go up against some formidable opponents in this highly competitive group, starting with Cameroon, which is filled with stars like Vincent Aboubakar, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
Anything Can Happen
As any football fan knows, anything can happen in a tournament this big, and many factors affect a team’s performance on game day. If you want to be correct in your winner predictions, you need to consider things like weather, team injuries, pitch conditions, and crowd support – among many other things.