The Gabon-held 2017 African Cup of Nations runs from the 14th of January to the 5th of February, and a lot of footballing talents on display from the continent are set to play for glory.
Stars from the English Premier League, Ligue 1, Bundesliga and the Spanish La Liga are set to represent the 16 participating countries divided into 4 groups, but which nation has got the best chances of winning?
A look is taken at 5 favorite countries, and why they could lift the top prize in African football in some 4 weeks time.
The Black Stars have the Ayew brothers and the country’s highest goalscorer Asamoah Gyan, within their ranks.
Having won 4 AFCON titles already, with the last one coming in 1982, Ghana are once again perennial favourites, and considering they have got an easy group (D), coming out tops and getting an easy opponent in the runner ups of group C in the quarters should give them access to the semis.
The defending champions boast of the likes of Zaha, Kessie, Aurier and Bailly in their squad despite the loss of a majority of their golden generation.
Progressing from group C shouldn’t be hard, and so should the possibility when playing against group D runners-up.
Mane, Koulibaly and Idrissa Gueye shouldn’t have much problems getting out of group B. Topping it might just be hard, and that will determine which of the top 2 Group A teams they clash with.
Senegal can go all the way to land their first ever AFCON prize.
The Desert Warriors can add one more trophy to the one they got in 1990 – a year before reining king of African football Mahrez, was born.
There are also the likes of Slimani and Brahimi to help inspire them to victory, but they have got to beat the Senegalese’ Lions of Teranga to top spot in the group.
Host nations seem to do well in Africa, and after Libya’s hosting rights were withdrawn due to political unrest, 2012 hosts Gabon, took over.
The Panthers have never advanced past the quarterfinals, which came the last time they played hosts.
But can Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goals be able to lead them to their first ever AFCON glory?