AFCON 2024 Odds: Can Senegal defend their title?

 | January 12 | 

11 mins read

Senegal lift AFCON trophy

AFCON 2024 will be back on our televisions from Saturday 13th January and we've asked our man Adam Roberts to give us one of his famous comprehensive previews of this four-week-long footballing jamboree. He's taken a look at all 24 teams involved, their respective odds and potential star player, as well as any UK-based players starring in the Africa Cup of Nations. 

AFCON 2024 Betting Tips

  • Senegal to win - 6/1
  • Nigeria to win - 10/1
  • South Africa e/w (1/2, 2 places) - 40/1

History

This historic competition dates all the way back to 1957, when it was held as a three team contest in Khartoum, Sudan. The teams taking part were Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. Egypt were victorious in a tournament comprising just two matches! By 1961, the tournament had grown to nine teams and in 1968 the decision was made to make the tournament a biennial one.

From 1998, the Africa Cup of Nations had grown to 16 teams and there was a final expansion in 2017, when the format reached its current 24 sides. This is the 34th edition of the AFCON and the second held in the Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), having previously hosted the tournament in 1984.

The most successful team in the history of the event is Egypt, who have won the title on a record seven occasions. The defending champions are Senegal, who won the trophy for the first time back in 2021 (played in 2022 due to the COVID pandemic).

Previous Winners

Country Winners
Egypt 7 (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010)
Cameroon 5 (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002, 2017)
Ghana 4 (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982)
Nigeria 3 (1980, 1994, 2013)
Ivory Coast 2 (1992, 2015)
Algeria 2 (1990, 2019)
DR Congo 2 (1968, 1974)
Zambia 1 (2012)
Tunisia 1 (2004)
Sudan 1 (1970)
Senegal 1 (2021)
Ethiopia 1 (1962)
Morocco 1 (1976)
South Africa 1 (1996)
Congo 1 (1972)

Format

There are 24 teams taking place at AFCON 2023, from the 54 teams that entered qualification. As host nation, Ivory Coast were granted automatic qualification, with the other 23 teams qualifying over a 21-month period. 17 teams that took part in Cameroon 2021 will take part in the Ivory Coast and for the first time since 2015, there are no nations making their debut.

There are six groups of four teams, all playing each other in a single round-robin format, with the top two from each group, as well as the four highest-ranked third place teams all advancing to the last 16. From there the the teams play in a straight knockout format, until the final takes place on the 11th February at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

Host Grounds

Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan (60,000)

Alassane Ouattara Stadium Abidjan 

Felix Houphoet Boigny Stadium, Abidjan (33,000)

Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium Abidjan

Stade de la Paix, Bouaké (40,000)

Stade de la Paix Bouake

Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium, Korhogo (20,000)

Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium korhogo

Laurent Pokou Stadium, San-Pédro (20,000)

Laurent Pokou Stadium san Pedro

Charles Konan Banny Stadium, Yamoussoukro (20,000)

Charles Konan Banny Stadium Yamoussoukro

Groups

AFCON groups

Who are the favourites to win the Africa Cup of Nations?

Senegal - 6/1

AFCON 2021 result - Champions

UK based players - Seny Dieng (Middlesbrough), Moussa Niakhate (Nottingham Forest), Fode Ballo-Toure (Fulham), Pape Matar Sarr (Tottenham), Cheikhou Kouyate (Nottingham Forest), Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton), Nicolas Jackson (Chelsea), Abdallah Sima (Rangers).

Key player - Sadio Mane(Al Nassr)

Prediction - It will take a very strong side to beat this stacked Senegal squad, who if anything look more well-equipped to win than two years ago. They should progress from the group stage with ease and I expect them to make the final again.

Morocco - 6/1

AFCON 2021 result - Quarter-finals

UK based players - Nayef Aguerd (West Ham), Sofyan Amrabat (Manchester United).

Key player - Achraf Hakimi (Paris Saint-Germain)

Prediction - Morocco surpassed all expectations at the 2022 World Cup, becoming the first ever African team to reach a semi-final. 13th in the world rankings and with a side that is greater than the sum of its parts, could Morocco clinch their first title since 1979?

Ivory Coast - 7/1

AFCON 2021 result - Last 16

UK based players - Serge Aurier, Willy Boly, Ibrahim Sangare (all Nottingham Forest), Jean-Michael Seri (Hull City), Simon Adingra (Brighton & Hove Albion).

Key player - Franck Kessie (Al-Ahli)

Prediction - The home side generally does pretty well in these competitions and I would be surprised if Ivory Coast don't make at least the semi-finals. They possess formidable talents like Wilfried Zaha, Simon Adingra and Seko Fofana and much will be decided by their showdown with Nigeria in Group A. If they can win that one, they could have a deep run here.

Algeria - 7/1

AFCON 2021 result - Bottom of group

UK based players - Rayan Ait Nouri (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Yasser Larouci (Sheffield United).

Key player - Riyad Mahrez (Al Ahli)

Prediction - The 2019 champions had a title defence to forget in Cameroon, finishing rock-bottom of Group E and scoring just one goal along the way. The Fennec Foxes look to have an easy draw, including Angola, Burkina Faso and Mauritania and should surely vie for top spot with Burkina Faso. I don't see them going past the quarter-finals, however.

Cameroon - 9/1

AFCON 2021 result - Third

UK based players - Andre Onana (Manchester United), Junior Tchamadeu (Stoke), Ben Njongoue Elliott (Reading).

Key player - Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Napoli)

Prediction - Cameroon are in the same group as defending champions Senegal, so could face a tough progression in the knockout stages if they finish second.

However, they do possess some firepower in the form of veteran front man Vincent Aboubakar, Eric Choupo-Moting and Bryan Mbeumo.

Egypt - 9/1

AFCON 2021 result - Runners-up

UK based players - Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool).

Key player - Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Prediction - Egypt had their hearts broken in the last AFCON, losing in the final to Senegal but in reality, their performances hadn't been good enough and they were probably lucky to make it that far. Lots will rest on the broad shoulders of Salah, but the Pharaohs are in good form, winning eight of their last 10 matches. They should top Group B, along with Ghana and then it's all a matter of how they fare against the bigger nations.

Nigeria - 10/1

AFCON 2021 result - Last 16

UK based players - Ola Aina (Nottingham Forest), Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion), Calvin Bassey (Fulham), Joe Aribo (Southampton), Frank Onyeka (Brentford), Alex Iwobi (Fulham), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City).

Key player - Victor Osimhen (Napoli)

Prediction - I really like the chances of Nigeria in this tournament and in Osimhen, they possess the current African Footballer of the Year. The Napoli striker's x-factor could catapult them into the very latter stages of the competition. They are drawn in the same group as hosts Ivory Coast and I think they will top the group above them.

Tunisia - 11/1

AFCON 2021 result - Quarter-finals

UK based players - Anis Ben Slimane (󠁧󠁢Sheffield United)

Key player - Youssef Msakni (Al Arabi)

Prediction - This looks a really tough group, with Mali, South Africa and Namibia all contending for a knockout spot. I like Mali's chances of winning the group and Tunisia might be relying on that high ranking to progress in third spot behind Bafana Bafana.

Ghana - 14/1

AFCON 2021 result - Bottom of group

UK based players - Joe Wollacott (Hibernian), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City), Mohammed Kudus (West Ham), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace), Antoine Semenyo (Bournemouth).

Key player - Mohammed Kudus (West Ham)

Prediction - Ghana are up against Egypt, Mozambique and Cape Verde in Group B and surely will be second favourites to progress behind Egypt. Kudus has had a terrific season for the Hammers and will look to carry that form into Ivory Coast.

The Outsiders

Mali - 22/1

AFCON 2021 result - Last 16

UK based players - Yves Bissouma (Tottenham Hotspur), Adama 'Noss' Traore (Hull City), Boubacar Traore (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Key player - Yves Bissouma (Tottenham Hotspur)

Prediction - I like Mali's chances of topping Group E above Tunisia and Les Aigles are in fine form, netting 15 goals in just six matches this year. Bissouma and Doucoure are going to form an impenetrable wall in central midfield and its a solid base to win matches from.

DR Congo - 33/1

AFCON 2021 result - Didn't qualify

UK based players - Rocky Bushiri (Hibernian), Grady Diangana (West Bromwich Albion), Edo Kayembe (Watford), Yoane Wissa (Brentford).

Key player - Chancel Mbemba (Marseille)

Prediction - DR Congo have some well established players and should have a decent chance at qualification along with Morocco from Group F. Whether The Leopards can go much further than that is another thing.

South Africa - 40/1

AFCON 2021 result - Didn't qualify

UK based players - None

Key player - Percy Tau (Al Ahly)

Prediction - It's great to see Bafana Bafana back in this tournament, after failing to qualify last time out. Chances are they will need a win against either Mali or Tunisia to progress and it may be that they attempt to shut up shop in those games and concentrate on Namibia. They have had good results against Morocco and Ivory Coast recently though.

Burkina Faso - 50/1

AFCON 2021 result - Fourth

UK based players - Issa Kabore (Luton Town), Bertrand Traore (Aston Villa), Dango Ouattara (Bournemouth).

Key player - Bertrand Traore (Aston Villa)

Prediction - Burkina Faso were the surprise package at the 2021 tournament, making the semi-finals against everyone's pre competition predictions.

The Stallions have another good chance of qualification here, along with Algeria and should have to much for both Angola and Mauritania. Can they go on another crazy run into the latter stages? I can't see it again.

Guinea - 66/1

AFCON 2021 result - Last 16

UK based players - None

Key player - Naby Keita (Werder Bremen)

Prediction - Guinea were another shock qualifier last time out but this group looks extremely difficult alongside Cameroon and Senegal and the best they can realistically hope for is to go through in third place.

Zambia - 66/1

AFCON 2021 result - Didn't qualify

UK based players - Frankie Musonda (Ayr United), Patson Daka (Leicester City).

Key player - Patson Daka (Leicester City)

Prediction - Zambia will be fighting with DR Congo for the second qualification spot behind Morocco and I think the Congolese might possess just a little too much quality for the Copper Bullets.

The Long Shots

Cape Verde - 100/1

AFCON 2021 result - Last 16

UK based players - None

Key player - Ryan Mendes (Fatih Karagumruk)

Prediction - The Blue Sharks shocked the world in 2022, somehow qualifying for the last 16. Here though, they face a really strong group consisting of Egypt and Ghana. Again, their only hope is really nicking a draw and then beating Mozambique.

Equatorial Guinea - 100/1

AFCON 2021 result - Quarter finals

UK based players - Charles Ondo (Huddersfield Town).

Key player - Emilio Nsue (Intercity)

Prediction -  Another surprise package in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea performed far above their world ranking and reached the quarter-finals, defeating Algeria and Mali along the way. I can't see them performing such miracles this time around.

Tanzania - 100/1

AFCON 2021 result - Didn't qualify

UK based players - Haji Mnoga (Aldershot Town), Tarryn Allarakhia (Wealdstone), Mo Sagaf (Boreham Wood), Ben Starkie (Ilkeston Town).

Key player - Mbwana Ally Samatta (PAOK)

Prediction - The Taifa Stars look like the whipping boys of Group F and I don't see them picking up a point.

Mauritania - 150/1

AFCON 2021 result - Bottom of group

UK based players - None

Key player - Guessouma Fofana (Doxa Katokopias)

Prediction - Mauritania finished rock-bottom of Group F in Cameroon and didn't score a single goal. I predict similar fortunes for the Lions of Chinguetti in the Ivory Coast.

Gambia - 150/1

AFCON 2021 result - Quarter finals

UK based players - Ibou Touray (Stockport County), Jacob Mendy (Wrexham), Ebou Adams (Cardiff City).

Key player - Musa Barrow (Al Taawoun)

Prediction - Gambia were another shock quarter-finalist in 2022 and their win over Tunisia to qualify will live long in the memory. They line up against the team they beat in the last 16 in Guinea, as well as Senegal and Cameroon. I can't see them having a similar magical run this time.

Guinea Bissau - 150/1

AFCON 2021 result - Bottom of group

UK based players - Carlos Mendes (Bolton Wanderers).

Key player - Sori Mane (Academico Viseu)

Prediction - Guinea-Bissau failed to score a goal in Cameroon and I don't like their chances in Group A. The Djurtus only real chance of points is against their namesakes, Equatorial Guinea.

Angola - 200/1

AFCON 2021 result - Didn't qualify

UK based players - None

Key player - Zito Luvumbo (Cagliari)

Prediction - Angola qualified for only their second AFCON in the last five attempts and will look to make waves in the Côte d'Ivoire. The Palancas Negras have a potentially winnable game against Mauritania sandwiched between two tough-looking assignments against Algeria and Burkina Faso.

Namibia - 200/1

AFCON 2021 result - Didn't qualify

UK based players - Ryan Nyambe (Derby County).

Key player - Denzil Haoseb (Khomas Nampol)

Prediction - Namibia look like the whipping boys in Group E and it's hard to see them picking up any points against Tunisia, Mali or South Africa. The Brave Warriors will look to live up to their nickname and pull off some monumental shocks here.

Mozambique - 250/1

AFCON 2021 result - Didn't qualify

UK based players - None

Key player - Elias 'Domingues' Pelembe (UD Songo)

Prediction - Os Mambas have qualified for their first Africa Cup of Nations since 2010 and only their 2nd in the last 13 runnings of this competition. They will pin all their hopes on the game against Cape Verde, with Egypt and Ghana looking on another level to Mozambique.

You can read all our latest Football Betting Tips at our dedicated Betfred Insights football content hub. 

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