While Euro football is currently in full swing with sublime matches, we will have to wait until next year before seeing the next African Cup of Nations. This 33rd edition which will take place in Cameroon for the second time after that of 1972 promises to be one of the most beautiful in history.
Indeed all the big nations will be present and an incalculable number of stars of the round ball will tread the 7 chosen stadiums located in 5 cities (Douala, Yaoundé, Bafoussam, Garoua and Limbé). The competition which will be played between January 9 and February 6 will have a format quite close to that of the Euro with 24 teams divided into 6 groups, then a final phase with playoff matches that will be played at 16.
The playoffs have just given their verdict
Before accessing the CAN, you must obviously qualify. We now know the list of all qualified since the last place was gleaned by Sierra Leone.
The biggest surprise concerns the elimination of the Democratic Republic of Congo which could be part of the favorites for the next CAN and which was pitifully eliminated by Gabon and the astonishing Gambia. Another good surprise, it was the Comoros who managed to easily come out of a homogeneous group made up of Egypt, Kenya and Togo. We can also note the failure of South Africa which can not find a team worthy of that of the 1990s despite the very good performance of Percy Muzi Tau.
At the level of the scorers, it is the Algerian Baghdad Bounedjah and the Nigerian Victor Osimhen who lead the dance in these qualifications with 4 goals each.
Who are the favorites of this CAN?
We have to be very clear, a favorite emerges clearly and it is quite simply the defending champion: Algeria. We are talking about a team that has flown over its qualifying group and which also has a new unbeaten record that has caused a lot of talk. This selection is cut for the win with a deep squad, an attractive attacking game and an experience of great moments.
Another favorite, and former unhappy finalist against Algeria, is Senegal. It is perhaps the most beautiful African squad on paper and it is quite simply the first nation in the FIFA rankings. The Senegalese are on a mission to finally become African champion.
Egypt, undefeated in the qualifying phase, is also a favorite, headed by a gala Mohamed Sala. The Liverpool star, who has a fairly smooth and distant image from some of the most eccentric sportsmen, will certainly make his feet talk with the ball.
For its part, the Cameroon is an outsider and can hope to do well at home. Indeed, nothing is more powerful than public support and Cameroonians will have to rely on that. And with excellent players like Karl Toko-Ekambi, Éric Maxim Choupo-Moting or André Zambo Anguissa, anything is possible.
Who will be the stars and scorers of this CAN?
Rare are the players to exceed 20 goals with their African selections in history. But for this next CAN, the three biggest stars are also formidable scorers who have crossed this symbolic bar.
Riyad Mahrez, should once again illuminate the game of the Algerians, between swaying dribbles and especially saving free kicks in the top corner. The Manchester City player is coming off a huge season which proves he is one of the best wingers in the world.
The other two players to watch are teammates and are none other than Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mané. The two Liverpool friends have more profiles to score than to dribble, but will play a little differently with their selection to dictate the game a bit. The last few months have been complicated, especially in the English league, but we have no doubts that they will be perfectly ready next January.
Three stars therefore who play for nations which aim only for one thing: the title.
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