Africa’s biggest football tournament kicks off on Saturday 14 January, as 16 teams from across the continent go head-to-head in Gabon….at the same time Kenya seeking to return to Afcon for the first time since 2004 have been drawn against Ghana, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone in group for the 2019 Afcon to be held Cameroon
For some football fans, it’s merely a biennial competition which sees some of the premier league’s best players disappear from club duty for a few weeks.
But Afcon is so much more: a competitive, lively and quality tournament with the talents of Riyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on show.
So with the 2017 edition about to get underway, we look at those likely to carry the day….reigning champions ivory coast have been backed to retain their title at this year’s africa cup of nations in Gabon with their recent arrival Wilfried Zaha after switching his international allegiance from England expected to boost their Midddlefield
Algeria – featuring a number of Premier League stars Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani, Sofiane Feghouli and Adlene Quediora – are among the leading contenders with Senegal also well placed.
Hosts Gabon, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament according to Fifa at position 111 are well priced among the chasing pack.
The first match of the day will see hosts Gabon play Quinea Bissau… later Burkina Faso will play the indomitable lions of Cameroon…
At the same, Kenya’s Harambee Stars have been handed former champions Ghana, neighbors Ethiopia and Sierra Leone in group of qualifier for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) which will be held in Cameroon.
Due to improved rankings, Kenya will head straight into the group stages and avoid the preliminary round qualifiers as has happened before.
Kenya will be seeking to return to the Afcon for the first time since 2004 and the current football Kenya federation office after missing the 2017 event pegged their hopes on the Cameroon tournament