The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations runs from January 14th through to February 5th and it brings together the 16 qualified teams in the bi-annual tournament. This latest edition is being hosted in Gabon across four host cities. Originally the tournament was scheduled to be held in Libya, but back in 2014 the CAF decided to scrap that plan because of the civil war in the country and handed it over to Gabon.
The winner of the Africa Cup of Nations 2017 will make their way to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia and there is a special feeling about this year’s edition as this is part of the 60th anniversary of the tournament. There is a big qualification process to get to the actual finals and this time around 51 nations were there at the qualifying stage. Morocco, who had originally been banned from both this and the 2019 editions of the AFCON got into the mix and won their qualification group. The biggest casualty of the AFCON 2017 qualification was three-time champions Nigeria who failed to get through.
The great thing about CAN tournaments is they are generally pretty wide open affairs. The current champions are the Ivory Coast who landed the title a couple of years ago, when they beat Ghana in the final, landing the title 9-8 in a penalty shoot out. The DR Congo finished third with Equatorial Guinea coming home in a brilliant fourth place for them. The Ivory Coast are back as outright favourites at 7/2 with William Hill in Africa Cup of Nations 2017 Betting. They are pretty strong favourites as well, because second favourites Senegal are running at 6/1.
Africa Cup of Nations 2017 Betting Odds
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Africa Cup of Nations 2017 Draw
The Group Stage of CAN2017 is just the four round robin groups with the top two from each moving through to the quarter final knockout stage. Gabon are hosts then and they are joined here by qualification group winners Morocco, Algeria, Cameroon, Senegal, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Zimbabwe, Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Tunisia and the DR Congo. The two best runners up from the qualification stage were Uganda and Togo who join to make the 16 nations taking part in the group stage.
Pot 1: Gabon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria
Pot 2: Tunisia, Mali, Burkina Faso, DR Congo
Pot 3: Cameroon, Senegal, Morocco, Egypt
Pot 4: Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Guinea-Bissau
Group A: Gabon, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau
Hosts Gabon really couldn’t have gotten a more favourable draw for this one. There really isn’t standing too much in their way for this one and they should be able to make it through to the quarter finals. They have one of Europe’s best goalscoring machines in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leading the way in this one. Cameroon look at odds with themselves at the moment and they have had a host of key players deciding to skip the tournament. Burkina Faso failed to live up to the 2013 heights of reaching the final when they couldn’t make it out of the 2015 group stage and debutants Guinea-Bissau are unlikely to raise too much of a threat. It should be something of a canter for Gabon.
Predictions: Gabon, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau
Group B: Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Zimbabwe
This is a pretty tough group for the Desert Foxes Algeria. They have a star producer in Riyad Mahrez and they are going to need him on top of his game to help the Algerian through this. Three of Africa’s top five FIFA Ranked teams are all squashed in his group. There is going to be a big battle in his one between Algeria, Tunisia and Senegal and there really isn’t all that much to separate them and that is where narrow margins of individual brilliance is likely to come in. Mahrez isn’t quite the player that he showed in the 2015/16 Premier League season and that could tip the balance to Senegal to win the group. They have a star producer in Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and overall throughout their setup, they look pretty strong really. The big thing for them is shaking off the huge disappointments of a very poor 2015 Cup of Nations campaign. Tunisia will be competitive but are just unlikely to edge out either Senegal or Algeria for the next round.
Prediction: Senegal, Algeria, Tunisia, Zimbabwe
Group C: Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Morocco, Togo
The most exciting looking group is C with the Ivory Coast having their hands full in dealing with the DR Congo and Morocco as well. That should produce some pretty solid, tight games and the Ivory Coast have moved on from their golden generation of the likes of the Toure brothers and Didier Drogba. They have some familiar Premier League names still with Wilfried Zaha and Eric Bailly in there and they should get through the group. But Morocco look great dark horses for the tournament and they have Herve Renard in charge who led Zambia to the 2012 title and then the Ivory Coast to their title in 2015. The big loss for the Congolese is in missing Yannick Bolasie through injury.
Prediction: Ivory Coast, Morocco, DR Congo, Togo
Group D: Ghana, Mali, Egypt, Uganda
Ghana were losing finalists two years ago and they should be a strong contender to at least make it back to the final four this time around. With Mali and Uganda looking short of the quality that is going to be needed to make a decent run of things in the group, that would leave a relatively easy path for Egypt at as well in this one. Egypt’s return is one of the big stories of this year’s tournament as this is their first time back in the tournament since having won it in 2010. They have been through some turmoil, both on the pitch and politically, but they are back heading in the right direction now under Hector Cuper and they look a quick side, particularly through Mohamed Salah to threat in the tournament.
Prediction: Ghana, Egypt, Mali, Uganda
Africa Cup of Nations 2017 Top Goalscorer Odds
There is some great scoring power running through the Africa Cup Of Nations 2017 and most of it is pretty familiar as well. Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the stand out name and he is running at 6/1 at William Hill to go and land himself the top goalscorer title. Given that Gabon have a pretty easy group ahead of them, he should lead the line and get plenty of chances on the board. Leicester’s Islam Slimani will need some support from Riyad Mahrez to help get his account going for Algeria in the tournament and the Leicester forward is a 10/1 shot to finish as top goalscorer. Aston Villa’s tall striker Jonathan Kodjia is 9/1 and he offers some pretty decent value considering that the Ivory Coast should really be in the final four. Senegal’s Moussa Konate is the same price with Liverpool’s Sadio Mane at 12/1 and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah joining the ranks as the front runners as well. Salah could have a huge impact in this tournament with his pace and is well worth a flutter in the market. Aubameyang just has the world as his feet and should dominate the continent though.
Africa Cup of Nations 2017 Predictions
We are making two selections here. Morocco are going to be running as our dark horses for the competition and they are more than capable of pulling off some upsets here. There are great each way price to make a run at things. Senegal, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ghana, Gabon and Algeria should all make strong cases and are pretty evenly matched up and this should be a great tournament in terms of competitiveness. We are going to run with Senegal on this one because of the draw. They should win their group which means an easy quarter final against the runner up from the weak Group A. That puts them in a very strong position to make a run at the title. Senegal are price of 3/1 with William Hill to reach the final.