Gabon 2017 AFCON Preparations and Previews

The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is the main international association football competition in Africa. It is sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and was first held in 1957.

Since 1968, it has been held every two years. The title holders at the time of a FIFA Confederations Cup qualify for that competition. The origin of the African Nations Cup dates from June 1956, when the creation of the Confederation of African Football was proposed during the third FIFA congress in Lisbon . There were immediate plans for a continental tournament to be held and, in February 1957, the first African Cup of Nations was held in Khartoum, Sudan. For sponsorship reasons the 31st edition of the African Cup of Nations is called the Total AFCON. The 2017 edition which is will be held in Gabon was contented by Gabon, Ghana and Algeria which Algeria secured the rights to host the tournament.

The Gabon 2017 AFCON will start on 14 January, 2017 and final game will be played on 5 February 2017.

The AFCON has 4 groups with 4 nations in each group summing up to 16 countries participating.
Here are all the groups;Gabon-2017-AFCON-groups Gabon 2017 AFCON Preparations and Previews

Group A.
1. Burkina Faso
2. Cameroon
3. Gabon
4. Guinea Bissau

Group B.
1. Algeria
2. Senegal
3. Tunisia
4. Zimbabwe

Group C
1. Morocco
2. Ivory Coast
3. Congo DR
4 Togo

Group D
1. Egypt
2. Ghana
3. Mali
4. Uganda

With less than 10 days to the tournament, various countries have submitted their final squads for Africa’s biggest national tournament. Here are the squad lists submitted by various countries:Gabon-2017-AFCON Gabon 2017 AFCON Preparations and Previews

IVORY COAST
GOALKEEPERS
GBOHOUO Sylvain (TP Mazembe – RD Congo)
SANGARE Badra Ali (AS Tanda – Côte d’Ivoire)
SAYOUBA Mande (Stabaek – Norvège)

DEFENDERS
AURIER Serge (Paris SG – France)
BAGAYOKO Mamadou (St Trond VV – Belgique)
BAILLY Eric (Manchester United – Angleterre)
DELI Simon (Slavia Prague – République Tchèque)
KANON Wilfried (ADO La Haye – Pays-Bas)
KONE Lamine (Sunderland AFC – Angleterre)
TRAORE Adama (FC Bâle – Suisse)

MIDFIELDERS
ANGBAN Victorien (Grenade CF – Espagne)
DOUKOURE Cheik (FC Metz – France)
KESSIE Franck (Atalanta Bergame – Italie)
N’GUESSAN Yao Serge (AS Nancy Lorraine – France)
SEREY DIE Geoffroy (FC Bâle – Suisse)
SERI Jean Michaël (OGC Nice – France)

ATTACKERS
BONY Wilfried (Stoke City FC – Angleterre)
GRADEL Max Alain (AFC Bournemouth – Angleterre)
KALOU Salomon (Hertha Berlin – Allemagne)
KODJIA Jonathan (Aston Villa FC – Angleterre)
PEPE Nicolas (SCO Angers – France)
SIO Giovanni (Stade Rennais – France)
ZAHA Wilfried (Cristal Palace FC – Angleterre)

Gabon (Host)
Goalkeepers
Didier Ovono (KV Ostend / BEL), Yves Stéphane Bitséki Moto (CF Mounana / GAB), Anthony Mfa Mezui (Unattached).

Defenders
Bruno Ecuélé Manga (Cardiff City / WAL), André Biyogho Poko (Karabukspor / TUR), Aaron Appindangoye (Laval / FRA), Franck Perrin Obambou (Mandji Stage / GAB), Lloyd Palun Johann Serge Obiang (Troyes/FRA), Benjamin Zé Ondo (Mosta FC / MAL) and Yoann Wachter (Sedan/FRA)

Midfielders
Junior Serge Martinsson Ngouali (IF Brommapojkarna / SWE), Levy Clement Madinda (Nastic Tarragona / ESP), Gelor Kanga Kaku (Belgrade Red Star / SRB), Merlin Tandjigora (Meixian Hakka FC / CHN), Didier Ndong (Sunderland / ENG), Samson Mbingui (Raja Casablanca / MOR), Mario Lemina (Juventus, Italy)

Forwards
Denis Athanase Bouanga (Tours FC / FRA), Serge Kevyn Aboue Angoue (Uniao Leiria / POR), Cedric Ondo Biyoghe (CF Mounana), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund / GER), Malick Evouna (Tianjin Teda FC / GAB)

Zambia
Goalkeepers
Kennedy Mweene (Mamelodi Sundowns/RSA), Danny Munyao (Red Arrows), Racha Kola (Zanaco);

Defenders
Buchizya Mfune (Green Buffaloes), Stephen Kabamba (Green Buffaloes), Adrian Chama (Green Buffaloes), Davies Nkausu (Free State Stars/RSA), Stopilla Sunzu (Lille/FRA), Chongo Kabaso (TP Mazembe/DRC), Boyd Mkandawire (Napsa Stars);

Midfielders
Steward Chikandiwa (Nkwazi), Paul Katema (Red Arrows), Nathan Sinkala (TP Mazembe/DRC), Chisamba Lungu (FC Ural/RUS), Salulani Phiri (Zanaco), Lubambo Musonda (Gandzasar Karpan/ARM), Rainford Kalaba (TP Mazembe/DRC), Christopher Katongo (Green Buffaloes), Clatous Chama (Zesco United);

Strikers
Collins Mbesuma (Mpumalanga Blackaces/RSA), Winston Kalengo (AC Leopards/Congo), Evans Kangwa (Hapoel Raanana /ISL), Conlyde Luchanga (Lusaka Dynamos).

Burkina Faso
Goalkeepers
Abdoulaye Soulama (Asante Kokoko/Ghana), Germain Sanou (St Etienne/France), Daouda Diakité (Lierse/Belgium)

Defenders
Mohammed Koffi (Petrojet/Egypt), Henry Traoré (Ashanti Kotoko/Ghana), Bakary Koné (Lyon/France), Mady Panandétiguiri (R. Antwerp/Belgium), Paul Koulibaly (Dynamo Buccarest/Romania)

Midfielders
Wilfried Balima (FC Sheriff Tiraspol/Moldavia), Florent Rouamba (FC Sheriff Tirasplo/Moldavia), Issouf Ouattara (Chernomorets Burgas/Bulgaria), Préjuce Nakoulma (Gornik Zabrze/Poland), Wilfried Sanou (Kyoto Sanga/Japan), Abdoul Razack Traoré (Lechia Gdansk/Poland), Ali Rabo (Al Shorta/Egypt), Charles Kaboré (Marseille/France), Djakaridja Koné (Evian Thonon-Gaillard/France), Jonathan Pitroïpa (Rennes/France), Alain Traoré (Lorient/France)

Strikers
Aristide Bancé (Augsburg/Germany), Moumouni Dagano (Lekwiya/Qatar), Pierre Koulibaly (Al Dhaid Sharja/Emirates), Wilfried Hughes Dah (Al Dhaid Sharja/Emirates)

Cameron.
Goalkeepers
Jules Goda, Fabrice Ondoa, Georges Bokwe

Defenders
Faï Collins, Ernest Mabouka, Nicolas Nkoulou, Michael Ngadeu, Adolph Teikeu, Ambroise Oyongo, Mohammed Djetei, Jonathan Ngwen

Midfielders
Sébastien Siani, Franck Boya, Georges Mandjeck, Arnaud Djoum

Strikers
Vincent Aboubakar, Jacques Zoua, Benjamin Moukandjo, Clinton Njie, Edgar Salli, Christian Bassogog, Toko Ekambi, Ndip Tambe

Mali
Goalkeepers
Soumaila Diakité and Djigui Diarra (Stade Malien de Bamako), Oumar Sissoko (Orléans, France)

Defenders
Ousmane Coulibaly (Panathinaikos, Greece), Hamari Traore (Reims, France), Molla Wagué (Udinese, Italy), Salif Coulibaly (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Mohamed Oumar Konaté (RS Berkane, Morocco), Mahamadou N’Diaye (Troyes, France), Youssouf Koné (Lille, France)

Midfielders
Yves Bissouma (Lille, France), Mamoutou N’Diaye (Royal Antwerp, Belgium), Lassana Coulibaly (Bastia, France), Yacouba Sylla (Montpellier, France), Samba Sow (Kayserispor, Turkey), Adama Traoré (AS Monaco, France), Sambou Yatabaré (Werder Bremen, Germany)

Forwards
Moussa Marega (Vitória Guimarães, Portugal), Kalifa Coulibaly (Gent, Belgium), Moustapha Yatabaré (Karabukspor, Turkey), Bakary Sako (Crystal Palace, England), Moussa Doumbia (Rostov, Russia).

Uganda
Goalkeepers
Salim Jamal (Al Merrikh, Sudan), Robert Odongkara (Saint George, Ethiopia), Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa)

Defenders
Timothy Dennis Awany (KCCA, Uganda), Joseph Ochaya (KCCA), Shafiq Batambuze (Tusker, Kenya), Denis Iguma (Al Ahed, Lebanon), Isaac Isinde (Unattached), Murushid Juuko (Simba, Tanzania), Nicholas Wadada (Vipers, Uganda)

Midfielders
Khalid Aucho (Baroka, South Africa), Mike Azira (Colorado Rapids, USA), Geoffrey Kizito (Than Quang Ninh, Vietnam), William Luwagga Kizito (Rio Ave, Portugal), Tony Mawejje (Thotur, Iceland), Hassan Wasswa (Vipers, Uganda), Moses Oloya (Hanoi T and T, Vietnam), Godfrey Walusimbi (Gor Mahia, Kenya)

Strikers
Geoffrey Massa (Baroka, South Africa), Faruku Miya (Standard Liege, Belgium), Yunus Sentamu (Ilves, Finland), Geoffrey Sserunkuma (KCCA, Uganda), Muhammed Shaban (Onduparaka, Uganda)

ALGERIA
GOALKEEPERS
Raïs Ouhab M’bolhi (Antalyaspor -Turkey), Malik Asselah (JS Kabylie), Chemseddine Rahmani (MO Béjaïa)

DEFENDERS
Mokhtar Belkhiter (Club Africain -Tunisia), Mohamed Rabie Meftah (USM Alger), Aïssa Mandi (Real Bétis – Spain), Hicham Belkaroui (Espérance de Tunis -Tunisia), Liassine Cadamuro (Servette Genève -Switzerland), Mohamed Benyahia (USM Alger), Ramy Bensebaïni (Stade Rennais -France), Faouzi Ghoulam (SSC Napoli – Italy), Djamel Eddine Mesbah (FC Crotone -Italy)

MIDFIELDERS
Adlène Guedioura (Watford FC – England), Saphir Taïder (Bologna FC -Italy), Nabil Bentaleb (Schalke 04 – Germany), Mehdi Abeid (Dijon FCO -France), Yassine Brahimi (FC Porto -Portugal), Rachid Ghezzal (Olympique Lyonnais -France)

ATTACKERS
Islam Slimani (Leicester City FC – England), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City FC – England), Hillal El Arabi Soudani (Dinamo Zagreb -Croatia), Baghdad Bounedjah (Al Sadd -Qatar), Sofiane Hanni (RSC Anderlecht – Belgium)

GHANA
Goalkeepers
Razak Braimah (Cordoba, Spain), Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars) and Fatau Dauda (Enyimba, Nigeria)

Defenders
Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew, USA), Andy Yiadom (Barnsley, England), Baba Rahman (Schalke 04, Germany), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium), (John Boye (Sivasspor, Turkey), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew, USA), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City, England), Edwin Gyimah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa)

Midfielders
Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Afriyie Acquah (Torino, Italy), Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid, Spain) Mubarak Wakaso (Panathinaikos, Greece), Christian Atsu (Newcastle, England), Ebenezer Ofori (AIK Stockholm, Sweden), Samuel Tetteh (Leifering, Austria)

Forwards
Asamoah Gyan (Al Ahli, UAE) Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa, England), Andre Ayew (West Ham, England), Ebenezer Assifuah (Sion, Switzerland), Bernard Tekpetey (Schalke 04, Germany)

TOGO
Goalkeepers
Kossi Agassa (without club), Baba Tchagouni (FC Marmande, France), Cédric Mensah (Le Mans, France)

Defenders
Serge Akakpo (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Sadate Ouro-Akoriko (Al Khaleej, Saudi Arabia), Djene Dakonam (Saint-Trond, Belgium), Gafar Mamah (Dacia, Moldovia), Maklibè Kouloun (Dyto, Togo), Hakim Ouro-Sama (AS Togo Port, Togo), Vincent Bossou (Young Africans,Tanzanie)

Midfielders
Alaixys Romao (Olympiacos, Grèce), Matthieu Dossevi (Standard Liège, Belgique), Floyd Ayité (Fulham, England), Henritsè Eninful (Doxa, Chypre), Lalawele Atakora (Helsingborgs, Sweden), Prince Segbefia (Goztepe, Turkey), Ihlas Bebou (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany), Franco Atchou (Dyto, Togo), Serge Gakpe (Genoa, Italy)

Attackers
Emmanuel Adebayor (without club), Fo Doh Laba (Royal Club Berkane, Morocco), KOMLAN AGBENIADAN (WAFA SC, Ghana), Razak Boukari (Chateauroux, France)

EGYPT
Goalkeepers
Ahmed El-Shennawy (Zamalek), Essam El-Hadary (Wadi Degla), Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly)

Defenders
Ahmed Fathi (Al Ahly), Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull City – England), Mohamed Abdel-Shafy (Al-Ahli – Saudi Arabia), Karim Hafez (Lens – France), Ahmed Hegazy (Al Ahly), Saad Samir (Al Ahly), Ahmed Dweidar (Zamalek), Ali Gabr (Zamalek), Omar Gaber (FC Basel – Switzerland).

Midfielders
Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal – England), Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Ibrahim Salah (Zamalek), Abdallah El-Said (Al Ahly), Amr Warda (Panetolikos – Greece), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City – England), Mahmoud Hassan ‘Trezeguet’ (Royal Mouscron – Belgium).

Forwards
Ahmed Hassan ‘Koka’ (Braga – Portugal), Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Mahmoud Abdel-Moneim ‘Kahraba’ (Al-Ittihad – Saudi Arabia), Mohamed Salah (AS Roma – Italy).

SENEGAL
Goalkeeper
Abdoulaye Diallo (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey), Khadim Ndiaye (Horoya AC, Guinea), Pape Seydou Ndiaye (Niary Tally)

Défenders
Lamine Gassama (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Kara Mbodj (Anderlecht, Belgium), Zargo Touré (Lorient, France), Kalidou Koulibaly (Naples, Italy), Saliou Ciss (Valenciennes, France), Cheikh Mbengue (Saint-Etienne, France).

Midfielders
Idrissa Gueye (Everton, England), Cheikhou Khouyaté (West Ham, England), Cheikh Ndoye (Angers, France), Pape Kouly Diop (Espanyol Barcelone, Spain), Pape Alioune Ndiaye (Osmanlispor, Turkey), Mohamed Diamé (Newcastle, England), Henry Saivet (Saint-Etienne, France), Sadio Mané (Liverpool, England), Diao Baldé Keita (Lazio Rome, Italy), Ismaïla Sarr (Metz, France).

Attackers
Moussa Konaté (FC Sion, Switzerland), Famara Diedhiou (Angers, France), Moussa Sow (Fenerbahçe, Turkey), Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City, England).

MOROCCO
Goalkeepers
Munir Mohammadi (Numancia, Spain), Yassine Bounou (Real Saragosse, Spain), Yassine El Kharroubi (Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria)

Defenders
Medhi Benatia (Juventus, Italy), Romain Saïss (Wolverhampton, England), Marouane Da Costa (Olympiakos, Grèece), Fouad Chafik (Dijon, France), Hamza Mendyl (Lille, France), Nabil Dirar (Monaco, France), Amine Attouchi (WAC Casablanca).

Midfielder
Youssef Aït Bennasser (Nancy, France), Mounir Obbadi (Lille, France), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord Rotterdam, Holland), Faycal Fajr (Deportivo La Corogne, Spain), Mbark Boussoufa (Al-Jazira, EAU), Sofiane Boufal (Southampton, England), Nordin Amrabat (Watford, England), Mehdi Carcela (Grenada, Spain).

Attackers
Khalid Boutaïb (RC Strasbourg, France), Youssef En-Nessyri (Malaga, Spain), Rachid Alioui (Nîmes, France), Youssef El Arabi (Lekhwiya, Qatar), Aziz Bouhaddouz (Sanit Pauli, Germany).

These are the coaches bringing countries to the 2017 AFCON.
Gabon – Jose Antonio Camacho (Spain)
Morocco – Herve Renard (France)
Algeria – Georges Leekens (Belgium)
Cameroon – Hugo Broos (Belgium)
Burkina Faso – Paulo Duarte (Portugal)
Tunisia – Henryk Kasperczak (Poland)
Ivory Coast – Michel Dussuyer (France)
Togo – Claude Le Roy (France)
Uganda – Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic (Serbia)
Ghana – Avram Grant (Israel)
Mali – Alain Giresse (France)
Egypt – Hector Cuper (Argentina)
Zimbabwe – Callisto Pasuwa (Zimbabwe)
Guinea Bissau – Baciro Cande (Guinea Bissau)
Senegal – Aliou Cisse (Senegal)
D.R Congo – Florent Ibenge (D.R Congo)

This is an exclusive analysis and the prediction of which countries to qualify out of the group stages. Eric Opoku of SportsGoogly analysed from Group A to Group D.

Group A.
Group A is a competitive group which involves the the host country Gabon. On any normal day Burkina Faso and Cameroon are tipped to qualify but this group will promise a lot of variant dynamism. This is how the group will look like and the statistical explanation will follow.

  1. Cameroon 7 points
    2. Gabon 6 points
    3. Burkina Faso  4 points
    4. Guinea o points

This will be how the games are likely to end according to the statistics and conventional thinking.

Gabon vrs Guinea
The opening fixture for the Gabon 2017 African cup of nations will be the game between Gabon and Guinea. Gabon and Guinea have not met before anywhere in football and this will be their first meeting. Gabon is very stronger at their backyard and with the opposition Guinea been a more weaker side, Gabon is likely to win this game by a slim margin.

Burkina Faso vrs Cameroon
The Burkina Faso and Cameroon fixture will be a month watery encounter. The winner of this fixture  will have a virtual place into the quarter finals. Burkina Faso and Cameroon have met 5 times with Cameroon winning 4 and drawing 1, Burkina Faso have never won a game against Cameroon. In the Nations cup in 1998 these two countries met and Cameroon won. This will be a crunch game and despite Cameroon’s dominance, this game will have a different twist this time round. Burkina Faso is likely to draw this game, the game is likely to end a (1-1) draw.

Gabon vrs Burkina Faso
Gabon and Burkina Faso are old foes in African football and in the 2015 African Cup of nations both countries are in Group A. Gabon humbled Burkina Faso by two goals to nothing. Gabon and Burkina Faso have met on 18 encounters with Gabon winning 7, drawing 8 and Burkina Faso winning 3. In the African Cup of Nations Qualifiers both countries have met 4 times with Gabon winning 2, drawing 1 and Burkina Faso winning 1. In all aspects of the head to head, Gabon is ahead of Burkina Faso and with Gabon being being the host nation, they are likely to win. Gabon are likely to win this game by 2 goals to nothing.

Cameroon vrs Guinea
Cameroon and Guinea encounters is a David and Goliath affair, Cameroon is a giant in African football while Guinea is starting the road to be giants. Cameroon and Guinea have met 2 times with Cameroon winning all the two games. All the two games were in the qualifiers to the African cup of nations in 2013. Cameroon is 90% favourite to win this fixture against Guinea.

Guinea vrs Burkina Faso
This will be the first time Guinea and Burkina Faso are meeting. Burkina Faso is more experienced in this tournament more than Guinea and with this experience and the depth of Burkina Faso squad, Burkina Faso will win this game by a slim margin.

Cameron vrs Gabon
The Gabon and Cameroon game will be a close call and heavily contended. Cameroon and Gabon have met on 14 occasions with Cameroon winning 7, drawing 5 and Gabon winning 2. In the 2010 African cup of nations Gabon and Cameroon were in Group D. In Cameroon’s game against Gabon, Gabon defeated Cameroon by one goal to nothing and with the likes of Idriss Kameni, Rigobert Song, Henri Bedimo, Alex Song, Samuel Eto’o and Pierre Webo Cameroon were still defeated. This time round Gabon is the host country so Cameroon are coming into this game from a difficult head to head vantage point. Cameroon are likely to win this fixture due to the depth of their squad and the class of Cameroon is superior than Gabon.

Group B
Group B is very difficult group with three of Africa biggest footballing countries Algeria, Senegal and Tunisia. This group is crucial and difficult to digest as pundit but only two clubs need to make it to the knockout stage. This is how Group B will look like after the group stages.

  1. Algeria 7 points
    2. Senegal 5 points
    3. Tunisia 4 points
    4. Zimbabwe 0 points

Algeria vrs Zimbabwe
Algeria playing against Zimbabwe is a father and son affair because Algeria is the number one team ranked in Africa whilst Zimbabwe is the least ranked side in the AFCON 2017. Algeria and Zimbabwe have met on 5 occasions with Algeria winning 2, drawing 2 and Zimbabwe winning 1. In the 2004 African Cup of Nations, both countries clashed in a Group C encounter where Zimbabwe defeated Algeria by two goals to one. The Zimbabwe team of 2004 was one of the best in the history of Zimbabwe football because after defeating Algeria they went ahead to defeat Ghana as well. This time is 2017, the story is the other way round because Algeria have the best of squads and many pundits predict that Algeria are likely to win the 2017 AFCON whilst Zimbabwe is classified as the weeping boys of the group. Algeria will salvage the win from Zimbabwe and the goals can be many.

Tunisia vrs Senegal
Tunisia and Senegal encounters are topnotch games with a lot of quality play and beautiful football at disposal. Tunisia and Senegal have met on 17 occasions with Tunisia winning 9, drawing 6 and Senegal winning 2. In the African Cup of Nations Senegal and Tunisia have met 4 times with Tunisia winning 1, drawing 3. Here are the four games:

  • AFCON 2008, Group D.
    Senegal 2-2 Tunisia
  • AFCON 2004, Quarter Finals.
    Tunisia 1-0 Senegal
  • AFCON 2002, Group C.
    Senegal 0-0 Tunisia
  • AFCON 1965, Group A.
    Senegal 0-0 Tunisia

In the AFCON qualifiers both countries have met 8 times with Tunisia winning 3, drawing 3 and Senegal winning 2. This fixture is likely to end in a draw. The Tunisia and Senegal game will end in a goalless draw.

Algeria vrs Tunisia
The Algeria and Tunisia fixture is a typical North African derby which have present a hot game and red cards are evident of the game. Algeria and Tunisia have met 51 times with Algeria winning 22, drawing 15 and Tunisia winning 14. In African Cup of Nations, the only time both countries met was in the 2013 AFCON where Tunisia won by one goal to nothing. In AFCON qualifiers, Algeria and Tunisia have met 6 times with Algeria winning one drawing 2 and Tunisia winning 3. The first meeting for both countries dates back to 1 June 1957 where Tunisia lost by 2 goals to 1. Algeria is pole position to win this encounter and Algeria is likely to win this game by two goals to one.

Senegal vrs Zimbabwe
Senegal and Zimbabwe fixtures in the olden days was very difficult to predict. Zimbabwe before now was one of the top performing clubs in Africa but the tables have changed against Zimbabwe due to poor economic conditions. Senegal and Zimbabwe have met on 6 occasions with Senegal winning 3 and Zimbabwe winning 3. In AFCON 2006 both countries were in Group D where Senegal defeated Zimbabwe by two goals to nothing. The first meeting of these countries  dates back to 1985. In AFCON qualifiers both countries have met 4 times with Senegal winning 2 and Zimbabwe winning 2. The attacking powers of Senegal is a treat to any defense and Zimbabwe can not stand the might of Senegal. Senegal is likely to win this game by three goals to nothing.

Zimbabwe vrs Tunisia
Zimbabwe and Tunisia have not met enough and both countries have do not know each other. The only time both countries met was in a friendly game on 7 November 1998 where Zimbabwe drew with Tunisia. Tunisian football is in an upright trend while Zimbabwe is on a downward trend. Tunisia is likely to win this game by two goals to nothing.

Senegal vrs Algeria
Senegal and Algeria is a typical West African and North African derby. On neutral grounds, the North African countries have an upper hand over their West African counterparts. Senegal and Algeria have met 18 times with Senegal winning 4, drawing 4 and Algeria winning 10. In the AFCON Senegal have never won a game against Algeria, two meetings with Algeria winning all the games. Here are the two encounters in the AFCON;

  • AFCON 2015, Group C: Algeria 2-0 Senegal.
    • AFCON 1990, Semi Finals: Algeria 2-1 Senegal.

Again in the AFCON qualifiers, Senegal have never won a game against Algeria in 4 occasions with Algeria winning 3 and drawing 1. In this competition Senegal will come in strongly to aiming win the game. Senegal is likely to draw this game. It shall be a (1-1) draw.

Group C
This group is the group in the AFCON 2017 which is said to be fairly open. The countries tipped to qualify are Ivory Coast and Morocco with other countries being Congo DR and Togo. Here will be how the group will be after the group stage games.

  1. Morocco 7 points
    2. Ivory Coast 7 points
    3. Congo DR 3 points
    4. Togo 0 points

Ivory Coast vrs Togo
Ivory Coast and Togo encounters is a typical West African derby. This game promises a lot of action despite the recent dip in form on Togo. Ivory Coast and Togo have met on 8 occasions with Ivory Coast winning 5 and drawing 3. Togo have not won a game against Ivory Coast. In the AFCON Ivory Coast and Togo have met 4 times with Ivory Coast winning 2 and drawing 2. Here are all the four games;

  • AFCON 2013, Group D: Ivory Coast 2-1 Togo.
    • AFCON 2002, Group C: Togo 0-0 Ivory Coast.
    • AFCON 2000, Group A: Ivory Coast 1-1 Togo
    • AFCON 1984, Group A: Ivory Coast 3-0 Togo. In the AFCON qualifiers both countries have met two times with Ivory Coast winning all the two games. Ivory Coast are likely to win the game by two goals to nothing.

Congo DR vrs Morocco
Congo and Morocco do not often meet and the only and first time both nations met was in a friendly game on 9 January 2006 which Morocco won. The squad of Congo DR is dominated by TP Mazembe but due to Mazembe’s drop in form, the Congolese national team is now slightly weak. Morocco is stronger than DR Congo in terms of squad quality and depth. Morocco is tipped to win this game by a slim margin.

Ivory Coast vrs Congo DR
Ivory Coast and Congo DR encounter is the game we call the typical African game with a lot of physical tussle. Ivory Coast and Congo DR have met 11 times with Ivory Coast winning 5, drawing one and DR Congo. In the AFCON both countries have met 3 times with Ivory Coast winning 2 and Congo DR winning 1. Here are the games;

  • 2015 AFCON, Simi Finals: Congo DR 1-3 Ivory Coast
    • 2002 AFCON, Group C: Congo DR 3-1 Ivory Coast
    • 1965 AFCON, Group B: Ivory Coast 3-0 Congo DR

In the AFCON qualifiers, Ivory Coast and Congo DR have met 4 times with Ivory Coast winning 2 and Congo DR. Ivory Coast is likely to win this game by two goals to one.

Morocco vrs Togo
Morocco and Togo is another West African and North African derby. Togo is not in a good shape but the facts in the Morocco and Togo fixtures are interesting. Morocco and Togo have met on 9 occasions with Togo winning 3, drawing 3 and Morocco winning 3. Morocco and Togo have not met in the AFCON before. In the AFCON qualifiers, Morocco and Togo have met 4 times with Morocco winning 2, drawing 1 and Togo winning one. Morocco is the out right favourite to win this fixture.

Morocco vrs Ivory Coast.
Morocco and Ivory Coast is yet another North African and West African derby. Ivory Coast is the defending champion of the AFCON and they will like to end the group in a stylish faction. Morocco and Ivory Coast have met on 17 occasions with Morocco winning 4, drawing 6 and Ivory Coast winning 7. In the African Cup of Nations both countries have met 3 times with Ivory Coast winning 2 and drawing 1. Here are all the 3 games;

  • 2006 AFCON, Group A: Morocco 0-1 Ivory Coast.
    • 1988 AFCON: Morocco 0-0 Ivory Coast.
    • 1986 AFCON, Semi Finals: Ivory Coast 3-2 Morocco

In the AFCON qualifiers, Morocco and Ivory Coast have met four times with Ivory Coast winning two and Morocco winning two. This game will be tough and difficult to predict but the game is likely to end in (1-1) draw.

Togo vrs Congo DR
The Congo and Togo encounters presents a lot of pace. Congo DR and Togo have met on 8 occasions with Togo winning 1, drawing 2 and Congo DR winning 5. In the AFCON, Togo have never won a game against DR Congo in 3 attempts with Congo winning two and drawing one. Will it be the same old story or Togo can turn the tables in the 2017 AFCON. Congo DR will struggle in this game bet will often win the game.

Group D
The Group D is a difficult group and and apart from Mali all the countries are in same group of the world cup qualifiers. Ghana have won the African Cup of Nations on four occasions, Egypt is the all winner of the nations cup and for four editions of the African Cup of nations Mali have being semi finalists. Three of the best African footballing countries are drawn in Group D. Uganda they say are the minors of the group but Uganda is in a form which they exhibited 37 years ago. This is how the group will be like after all the group stage matches have being played.

  1. Egypt 7 points
    2. Ghana 5 points
    3. Mali 4 points
    4. Uganda 0 points

Ghana vrs Uganda
Uganda have being Ghana’s worse nightmare in recent years. Ghana will want to defeat Uganda to get the bragging rights. Ghana and Uganda have met 10 times with Ghana winning 3, drawing 4 and Uganda winning 3. In the African cup 1978, Uganda met Ghana in the finals where Ghana won by two goals to nothing. In African Cup of Nations Qualifiers both countries have met 4 times with Uganda winning 2 and drawing 2. This is the last 5 games between Ghana and Uganda;

  • World Cup Qualifiers, 7 November 2016: Ghana 0-0 Uganda
  • AFCON 2015 Qualifiers, 15 November 2014: Uganda 1-0 Ghana
  • AFCON 2015 Qualifiers, 6 September 2014: Ghana 1-1 Uganda
  • Friendly, 31 May 2009: Ghana 2-1 Uganda
  • World Cup Qualifiers, 4 September 2005: Ghana 2-0 Uganda.

Uganda is a difficult nut to crack for Ghana. This time round Ghana will make a strong statement by defeating Uganda by one goal to nothing.

Mali vrs Egypt
Egypt is the god of the African Cup of nations but when it comes to head to head Mali is stronger than Egypt. Mali and Egypt have met on 7 occasions with Mali winning 4 and Egypt winning 3. At the AFCON 1994, Mali and Egypt met in the Quarter finals where Mali defeated Egypt by one goal to nothing. In the last four games both countries have played Mali have won two and Egypt have also won two. This game will be a crunch game but Egypt will come in strongly to announce their dominance in the AFCON. Egypt are likely to win this fixture.

Ghana vrs Mali
Ghana and Mali are known figures in the African Cup of Nations. Ghana and Mali have met on 14 occasions with Ghana winning 6, drawing 5 and Mali winning 3. In the AFCON tournament Ghana have clashed with Mali on 4 occasions. Here are the results of all the 4 games;

  • 2013 AFCON, third & fourth: Mali 3-1 Ghana
    • 2013 AFCON, Group B: Ghana 1-0 Mali
    • 2012 AFCON, third & fourth: Ghana 0-2 Mali
    • 2012 AFCON, Group D: Ghana 2-0 Mali

The last 5 games involving Ghana and Mali, Ghana have won 2 drawn 1 and Mali have won 2. The most likely result that could happen is a (2-2) drawn game.

Egypt vrs Uganda
Egypt and Uganda is a father and son affair and Uganda mostly the weaker side in this group can cause some surprises but not with Egypt. Egypt and Uganda have met on 12 occasions with Egypt winning 11 and drawing 1. Uganda have not won any competitive game against Egypt. In the African Cup of Nations both countries have met on 3 occasions and here are the results of the games;

  • 1976 AFCON, Group A: Egypt 2-1 Uganda
    • 1974 AFCON, Group A: Egypt 2-1 Uganda
    • 1962 AFCON, Semi Finals: Egypt 2-1 Uganda
    All the three meetings have ended in a 2-1 score-line. Can Uganda rewrite the book? Or it will be the same old story.
    In the 7 games played between Egypt and Uganda which happens to be friendly games, Egypt have won all the 7 games. Egypt is likely to win this game by a slim margin.

Uganda vrs Mali
Mali and Uganda had not met in any competitive game until both met in the 2016 Championship for African Nations(CHAN) The CHAN is a competition for local based players to lineup for their national teams. In the CHAN, Mali defeated Uganda by two goals to nothing. Mali will be poised to win this fixture.

Egypt vrs Ghana
Egypt and Ghana are the two most successful clubs in the AFCON with 12 AFCON trophies among them. Ghana and Egypt are not new to the AFCON and their encounters are more than football. Ghana and Egypt have met 18 times with Ghana winning 6, drawing 4 and Egypt winning 8. In the African Cup of Nations, Ghana and Egypt have met 3 times with Egypt winning 1 drawing 1 and Ghana winning 1. Here are the results of all the three games;

  • 2010 AFCON, Finals: Ghana 0-1 Egypt
    • 1992 AFCON, Group D: Ghana 1-0 Egypt.
    • 1970 AFCON, Group B: Ghana 1-1 Egypt.

SportsGoogly will cover the 2017 AFCON in Gabon exclusively.