AFCON 2017 Betting Special: Can Slimani outshine Aubameyang & Mane?

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Islam Slimani Germany Algeria World Cup 06302014
While the Dortmund striker may attract the most attention in Gabon, Al Hain-Cole thinks Algeria's superior quality will prove decisive

With the hopes of a nation upon him, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will need to be in top form should hosts Gabon enjoy any chance of success at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Borussia Dortmund striker missed out to Riyad Mahrez in the African Player of the Year award, but is Betway’s 13/2 (7.50) favourite to come out on top in the tournament’s top scorer charts.

With 21 goals to his name in 52 appearances for Les Pantheres, the man with 16 goals to his name in 15 Bundesliga matches this season should prove too hot to handle for a modest group that includes Cameroon, Gabon and Guinea-Bissau.

However, even a man of his goal-scoring talents will struggle to inspire a team that has only won once in 16 matches coming into the tournament, leaving the field open to less high-profile sharp shooters.

Having impressed with three goals in five matches since making his debut for the Ivory Coast, Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodjia could offer strong value at 9/1 (10.00) as he leads the line for the tournament favourites.

The 27-year-old will be competing for a starting place with Wilfried Bony at 12/1 (13.00) in a well-stocked attack that also features Salomon Kalou at 16/1 (17.00) and 22/1 (23.00) Giovanni Sio.

The quality of that frontline is arguably surpassed by Algeria, for whom Islam Slimani at 10/1 (11.00) is ably supported by Mahrez at 25/1 (26.00) and Yacine Brahimi at 20/1 (21.00).

With that kind of service to feast on, the Leicester striker could well be the best value choice considering he has struck nine goals in his last eight appearances for the Fennecs, and 23 in 47 in total.

Similarly, Senegal’s Moussa Konate at 12/1 (13.00) will not be short on chances as he plays alongside the in-form Sadio Mane at 14/1 (15.00), Mame Biram Diouf at 18/1 (19.00) and Keita Balde at 22/1 (23.00).

Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar and Benjamin Moukandjo are also sure to prove a handful, while Asamoah Gyan at 14/1 (15.00) and Mohamed Salah at 14/1 (15.00) will be looking to make their pedigree count for Ghana and Egypt respectively.

Slimani to win the AFCON Golden Boot at 10/1 (11.00) for a 1pt stake with Betway