Who will reign in Africa?

The 32nd Africa Cup of Nations kicks off later this month, with 24 teams vying to be kings of the continent.
Cameroon were due to host the competition, but the country’s preparations were not deemed good enough, and Egypt were given hosting duties.
And for the first time ever, the tournament is being held in the summer, meaning Premier League sides will no have to do without their African stars for part of next season.
Let’s take a look at those who have a serious chance of winning:

The Egyptian kings

Egypt has home advantage, and some great players to boot. None more so that Liverpool star Mo Salah. The former Chelsea and Roma man had a slow start to the season at Anfield, but there’s no doubting his contribution to seeing Liverpool push Man City hard for the Premier league title before they took Champions League glory against Spurs.
Egypt has won the Africa Cup of Nations seven times, but has not lifted the cup since 2010.

  • 2010 – winners Egypt
  • 2012 – winners Zambia
  • 2013 – winners Nigeria
  • 2015 – winners Ivory Coast
  • 2017 – winners Cameroon

888Sport has Egypt as favourites to lift the cup, at 9/2. As well as Liverpool’s Salah, the Pharoahs also feature Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny and Aston Villa defender Ahmed Elmohamady.

Salah’s club foe

They may be team-mates at Anfield, but Sadio Mane will be hoping to stop favourites Egypt with his Senegal side.
The Liverpool striker was in red hot form for his club in the middle to end part of the season, and joins his talented countrymen for the tournament. Senegal’s provisional 25-man squad also features Crystal Palace’s Cheik Kouyaté.
888Sport has Senegal as second favourites at 5/1.

Solid Cote d’Ivoire

Ivory Coast has a solid squad and could, depending on where they finish in a group which also contains Morocco, go deep into the tournament.
888Sport also thinks so, putting them at 7/1.
And you can see why. Wilfried Zaha was superb for Crystal Palace last season and can terrorise any defence. Toulouse midfielder Ibrahim Sangare is one to watch, as well.
Possibly worth a long shot, meanwhile, is Tunisia. Often seen as plucky, this side can be dangerous too, and 888Sport has them out at 20/1. It’s likely they’ll come up against Morocco or the Ivory Coast after qualifying out of the group, though.