All you need to know about the African Cup of Nations
The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is scheduled to kick off on Sunday with the game between the hosts Cameroon and Burkina Faso at the Stade Omnisport Paul Biya, Olembe.
AFCON was initially set to take place in 2021, but organisers were forced to postpone it due to the COVID-19 outbreak and moved it one year after its originally scheduled start date.
AFCON teams to watch
Reigning champions Algeria are considered to be the favourites to win a second AFCON in a row after coming out victorious from the latest edition that took place in Egypt back in 2019.
In the final of the competition, Algeria faced a strong Senegal team who have never won the tournament despite reaching the final both in 2019 and back in 2002.
Those two sides are again the frontrunners to clinch the title, with hosts Cameroonbeing also regarded as favourites to lift the trophy on home soil.
Meanwhile, Mali are the dark horses to win the tournament as they boast arguably one of the finest midfields this year in Brighton’s Yves Bissouma, RB Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara and Salzburg’s Mohamed Camara.
AFCON players to watch
More than half of the players who are set to participate in the AFCON are plying their trade in Europe, with some of them being regarded as world-class stars.
Liverpool forwards Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have joined up with Senegal and Egypt, respectively, while Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez will try to lead Algeria to back-to-back titles.
Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey is Ghana’s main star and the Gunners’ forward Pierre Emerick-Aubayemang captains Gabon.
AFCON start and final dates
The African Cup of Nations is scheduled to kick off on Sunday, January 9, at 17:00 CET with Cameroon’s duel against Burkina Faso.
Meanwhile, the final of the tournament is also set to take place at the same ground as the tournament’s opener on February 6 at 20:00 CET.