African Cup of Nations 2024: The Preview

As the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2024 beckons, football enthusiasts worldwide are gearing up for a month-long spectacle of skill and passion, set to unfold across Ivory Coast. With teams from across the continent converging in the spirit of competition, AFCON serves as a unifying force, transcending borders and celebrating the diverse tapestry of African football. The stage is now set for an exhilarating tournament that promises thrilling on-field battles and a display of the collective spirit that makes AFCON a highlight on the global football calendar.

The Hosts: Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast are hosting the AFCON for the first time since 1984, forty years ago. A lot has happened in the West African country since then. Multiple civil wars halted the country’s development but since 2011, there has been relative peace in the country and hosting this tournament is a significant step in the progression of the country. It is estimated that over $1 billion has been spent on upgrading infrastructure ahead of the tournament, including an enormous renovation of their flagship stadium, the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, which hosted the opening and final matches of the 1984 version of the tournament. Airports, hospitals and highways have been upgraded in the host cities. For the country’s 27 million citizens, this is an extremely exciting time.

As for Ivory Coast’s team, it boasts a strong squad. Captained by Nottingham Forest’s Serge Aurier, the team is full of experienced players who have played on the biggest stages in Europe. Nicolas Pepé and Sebastien Haller lead the line, whilst players such as Franck Kessie and Ibrahim Sangaré control the midfield.

The Ivory Coast team line up to sing their national anthem during the international friendly football match between Ivory Coast and South Africa at Stade Felix Houphouet Boigny in Abidjan on October 17, 2023. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)

The Format and the Teams:

The tournament kicks off with a group stage, where the participating teams are divided into groups, consisting of four teams each. Within these groups, teams compete in a round-robin format, facing each other once. The top teams from each group, along with select best-performing runners-up, advance to the knockout stages. The knockout rounds include the Round of 16, quarterfinals, and semifinals, and ultimately culminate in the highly anticipated final. The victorious team in the final is crowned the African champion.

  • Group A: Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau.
  • Group B: Egypt, Ghana, Cape Verde, Mozambique.
  • Group C: Senegal, Cameroon, Guinea, Gambia.
  • Group D: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Angola.

The Star Players:

Mohamed Salah – Winger – Egypt

Mohamed Salah is as lethal as ever in the Premier League, his talents will be vital if Egypt want to succeed in AFCON this year.

(Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)

Achraf Hakimi – Right-Back – Morocco

Hakimi is everything one could want in a full-back. He attacks, he defends, he’s fast, he gets involved in the build-up. Hakimi will be hoping to galvanise his talented Morocco team to AFCON victory.

Sadio Mané – Winger – Senegal

Mané is just one crucial element of a very talented Senegal team. His attacking talents should propel Senegal to a high-scoring tournament.

(Photo by Visionhaus/Corbis via Getty Images)

André Onana – Goalkeeper – Cameroon

Although slightly shaky at times for Manchester United this season, Cameroon’s André Onana has been excellent for Cameroon over the years and is a truly quality goalkeeper.

Mohamed Kudus – Winger – Ghana

Kudus has been electric for West Ham this year, he’ll be looking to transform that form onto the continental stage!

The Favourites:

Morocco – 5/1 on bet365

Senegal – 6/1 on bet365

Algeria – 7/1 on bet365

Ivory Coast 7/1 on bet365

By Nicky Helfgott / @NickyH3lfgott on Twitter (X)

Follow all of the latest AFCON news and results on the 365Scores website!

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