As is often the case with international tournaments it can be tough to call a winner, so that’s why Betin Kenya is at hand to give you an insight of the teams that could go all the way.
Ivory Coast (4.35)
The usual position for The Elephants going into this tournament as the betting favourites, and it’s not hard to see why. The defending champions boast of wealth of talented players that are excelling in some of Europe’s top leagues. Defence is always important in the African Cup of Nations which is notorious for being quite a low scoring tournament, so Eric Bailly and Serge Aurier will be crucial to how far this side goes. Up front the decision of Wilfried Zaha to switch allegiance to the Ivory Coast provides another dynamic option to their attack, as he can supply the ammunition to Wilfried Bony.
If the African Cup of Nations is considered a defensive tournament, then tune into watch Senegal if you want to get your attacking fix. They have a fluid style going forward and the form of Sadio Mane will be crucial to their success. He will be expected to score and assist, and this is something he has shown he is capable of doing week in week out in the Premier League. Like the Ivory Coast their defence boasts world class talent as Kalidou Koulibaly provides real leadership in this area. When they are in the mood it will be tough to see any side stopping them, however their recent form hasn’t been impressive so it depends on which version of Senegal shows up.
With African footballer of the year Riyad Mahrez in their ranks, Algeria should not be dismissed, even though their recent form in World Cup qualifying has been very poor. By their own admission they flopped at the AFCON in 2015, so there are big doubts over their tournament pedigree. They find themselves in a tough group, and if they manage to negotiate their way out of that, it could give them a real confidence boost to go all the way. If they are to banish the ghosts of last time, the form of Leicester pairing Slimani and Mahrez are of paramount importance to their hopes.
Something Egypt have that many other sides don’t is a real tournament pedigree. They have won the African Cup of Nations a record 7 times, and are a very good value pre-tournament bet. Technically they are one of the better sides, and their ability to keep the ball will be a big bonus in close games. In Mohamed Salah they have the devastating pace to go along with their measured build up play. The Pharaohs go into this tournament in good form having recently beaten Nigeria and Ghana. They have the ball playing ability to control the tempo against the smaller sides, and the counter attacking prowess to really hurt the big favourites like Senegal , Algeria and the Ivory Coast if they meet in the latter stages.
The Black Stars are always one of the strongest African nations, but leading up to this tournament there are major worries over their attacking capability. While Christian Atsu and Andre Ayew are talented and explosive players, they often lack the subtle creativity to break down the toughest defences. In terms of goalscoring they still rely heavily on Asamoah Gyan, but his best days may be behind him as he no longer operates in the top European leagues. Despite their attacking worries, they may be worth a bet at this price, as like Egypt they usually dominate the ball in most of their games.
*Please note all odds are correct at the time of publication.