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  • African Cup Of Nations Outright Betting Preview: Senegal, Morocco And Hosts Ivory Coast Fancied

African Cup of Nations outright betting preview: Senegal, Morocco and hosts Ivory Coast fancied

Planet Sport provides a betting preview of the 2023 African Cup of Nations as favourites and defending champions Senegal aim to become the first back-to-back winners since 2010.

The African Cup of Nations is just around the corner with hosts Ivory Coast kicking off against Guinea-Bissau on Saturday 13 January.

The beauty of the AFCON teams is they’re an eclectic bunch. Where else can you find a League One goalkeeper, Championship defender and one of the world’s best in attack?

 

Suggested bets

Morocco to win the AFCON

Senegal to reach the final

Nigeria: Win Group A

Senegal: Win Group C

Burkina Faso: Win Group D

Morocco: Win Group F

 

Favourites for the tournament

Nigeria will have high hopes and although we believe their defence may let them down, they have plenty of goals in them and they should be fun to watch.

The Super Eagles have more than a few ex-Championship players in their ranks, and they’re a bit top-heavy, but they have a devastating-looking attack.

Ademola Lookman, Moses Simon, Kelechi Iheanacho and Victor Boniface have combined for 40 goal involvements so far this season but there’s no doubting who the main man is.

Victor Osimhen has scored 57 goals in 96 Serie A starts for Napoli and stands a good chance of being the tournament’s top scorer if Nigeria can produce a run.

 

 

 

Ivory Coast boast a rather handy-looking group of players, too, and being on home soil makes them more of a threat.

Franck Kessie, Seko Fofana and Ibrahima Sangare comprise the most solid-looking midfield in the tournament, but it could lack creativity.

Jeremie Boga, Sebastien Haller, Christian Kouame and Jonathan Bamba can be good on their day but aren’t enjoying their best goalscoring seasons.

The onus could fall on Simon Adingra if he’s fit and Red Star Belgrade’s Jean-Philippe Krasso, but we expect them to be involved in some tight games so they could fall short.

 

 

 

Senegal lifted the trophy in 2021, led by the character that is Aliou Cisse. The ex-Portsmouth player also took his side to the knockout stages of the World Cup one year ago.

The Lions of Teranga have made the final in each of the previous two tournaments, losing 1-0 against Algeria in 2019.

No side has won back-to-back tournaments since Egypt in 2008 and 2010 but this is a team with genuine top-class quality littered throughout.

Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly, Pape Matar Sarr, Nicolas Jackson, Illiman Ndiaye and Sadio Mane are among those in a very talented squad.

 

 

 

Egypt are always a well-organised side that cover plenty of ground and is hard to beat. That said, you wonder where they’d be without Mohamed Salah.

Egypt’s talisman is responsible for so many of the big goals in their recent history and will spearhead a team mainly made up of domestic players.

Mohamed Elneny will anchor the midfield while Omar Marmoush will support Salah in attack, and both add a sprinkling of top-level quality to proceedings.

Escaping the group won’t be an issue for last year's runners-up, but there’s no guarantee they finish above Ghana, which would make for a tougher route to the final.

 

 

 

Last but not least, the World Cup’s surprise package Morocco are easily good enough to win this tournament if they play with the same spirit.

It could be hard to replicate what they produced when the expectation of the continent was on their shoulders, but they have plenty of quality.

Yassine Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, Nayef Aguerd, Azzedine Ounahi, Amine Harit, Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En-Nesyri have seen their stock rise further on the back of a good 2023.

They’ve only lost one of their previous 17 AFCON matches inside 90 minutes and they may be able to avoid any major tests until the quarter-finals.

Honourable mentions also go to Cameroon, Ghana, Tunisia and Algeria. They’ll all be tough to beat and should advance from their group, but they’ll have a tough time making the final.

 

 

 

Outsiders offering value

It’s worth highlighting that while we don’t expect our outsiders to go all the way, they could escape their group against the odds, which would provide a handsome payout.

If either Nigeria or Ivory Coast slip up in Group A, Guinea-Bissau may be waiting to pounce.

Although they’ll be overlooked, this is their fourth visit to AFCON and they’ve reached the quarterfinals in each of the previous three.

 

 

 

We can’t write about outsiders and neglect to mention Burkina Faso. They’ve reached the semi-finals against the odds in three of their last four AFCON tournaments.

They’re priced at 50/1 to lift the trophy and while that shouldn’t happen, they always go well despite being overlooked.

 

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