We have some top international football betting coming up this month with the Africa Cup of Nations 2017 being played out. Sixteen teams are at the tournament being hosted by Gabon, and are looking for that special taste of victory. The tournament is being played across four host cities and it ended up in Gabon after original hosts Libya were stripped of the hosting rights because of ongoing war in the country.
This is the 60th anniversary year for the Africa Cup of Nations so it is a special one. 51 teams entered the qualification stage, including Morocco who had originally been banned from both the 2017 and 2019 editions of the tournament. It’s rare that the Africa Cup of Nations (also known as the AFCON or CAN) is running smoothly. Even this time around Zimbabwe refused to get on a plane to get there because of wage disputes.
Anyway, Morocco are in and they won their qualification group so are at the finals. The winner of the Africa Cup of Nations 2017 will make their way to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. One nation who won’t be at the finals, which are being played from January 14th through to February 5th, is three-time winner Nigeria who were the biggest casualty of the qualification campaign.
CAN events generally turn out to be competitive, wide open tournaments, which is a great specialty. The Ivory Coast are back to defend their title, having lifted the cup having taken down Ghana 9-8 in a thrilling penalty shoot out to close out the 2015 edition. The DR Congo finished third with Equatorial Guinea coming home in a brilliant fourth place for them. The Ivory Coast are 7/2 favourites 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.
Ivory Coast 7/2, Senegal 6/1, Algeria 7/1, Egypt 9/1, Ghana 9/1, Gabon 9/1, Cameroon 10/1, Morocco 14/1, Mali 20/1, Tunisia 20/1, DR Congo 20/1, 33/1 bar
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The first stage of CAN2017 is the usual round robin format. You have four groups of four and the top two from each of those groups will make their way through to the knockout stage which starts with the quarter finals. Hosts Gabon are joined 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
We have just the one débutante at Africa Cup of Nations 2017 and that is Guinea-Bissau. So they can pretty much be counted out of making a run at qualification, because they are likely going to be pretty overawed by this. So that cuts the group to three. If you look at Burkina Faso who made that incredible run to the 2013 final, you can probably make a wash of them this time around. They failed to live up to exception by failing to make it past the group stage two years ago. So that leaves a scrap between Gabon and Cameroon. We would go with host nation Gabon to make it through this one because really they look fairly comfortable here. Cameroon are wrought with internal fighting and disruptions and with the home support and the goals of Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gabon should have the edge in the group, with Cameroon following them through.
Predictions: Gabon, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau
Group B: Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Zimbabwe
Tricky group to call here and therefore it makes Africa Cup of Nations 2017 betting pretty interesting. Algeria, because of the presence of African Footballer of the Year Riyad Mahrez are expected to be a threat. But are they hanging all of their hopes on him? The Desert Foxes will hope that Mahrez raises his game as he has been a little disappointing for Leicester this season and therefore the Algerians can be caught in this one. Senegal look to have just a little more energy about them here and with Liverpool’s Sadio Mane potentially going to be one of the big stars of the show, then they can make a run at winning the group, which will be highly important going forward. The Senegalese look strong enough on paper in all departments to edge out Algeria. Tunisia can have a say in this in pushing Algeria if the Desert Foxes don’t hit their heights. They can be competitive, but may not have quite enough to edge out either of the other two.
Prediction: Senegal, Algeria, Tunisia, Zimbabwe
Group C: Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Morocco, Togo
This group could be full of tension and fireworks because you have some strong contenders in his one. Obviously the reigning champions Ivory Coast are the stand out name in the group and they are running as favourites to top it. But the golden generation for them has passed so they are looking towards the youth now like Wilfried Zaha and Eric Bailly to carry them forward. They should qualify for the knockout stages, but not without coming under pressure from the DR Congo and Morocco. We like Morocco as a big dark horse 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 loss of Yannick Bolasie for the DR Congo is a massive hit for them to take and while they will push, may just miss out on the top two spots. Togo are pretty much making up the numbers.
Prediction: Ivory Coast, Morocco, DR Congo, Togo
Group D: Ghana, Mali, Egypt, Uganda
Ghana, who lost the final in 2015 to the Ivory Coast should be comfortable enough in this one to dive through to the knockout stage of the competition. They are just so solid and efficient. Frankly Mali have gone backwards and look well short of quality and it’s been a long time since Uganda were here that they aren’t likely to offer up too much threat. So Egypt should also be comfortable in his one. The return of Egypt is fascinating after everything that the country has gone through since they won the 2010 edition of the event. This is the first time they have qualified since then and look to be back on track with Hector Cuper at the helm and the threat of Mohamed Salah could be a massive influence for them.
Prediction: Ghana, Egypt, Mali, Uganda
There are some big names familiar to followers of Europe’s top club action on duty at the Africa Cup Of Nations 2017. Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is 6/1 outright favourite at William Hill in the Top Goalscorer market and with Gabon having a comfortable group draw, he should get plenty of chances to build a decent tally. Leicester’s Islam Slimani could be in the mix, but will he need a big input from Leicester team mate Riyad Mahrez to help him put enough on the board for algeria? Aston Villa’s tall striker Jonathan Kodjia is a 9/1 poke, and with the Ivory Coast expected to go deep into the competition, he could be some decent value. 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. But for sheer outright scoring power, everyone else may have trouble catching Aubameyang.
When going to look at tournament betting it is always worth picking out a dark horse and a strong contender. Ghana look in a good position to go pretty close again here. They are just a solid side, very efficient and have a decent amount of scoring power to edge their way through the tournament. Don’t’ expect fireworks from them, just steady progress under the radar. As for our dark horse for Africa Cup of Nations 2017 betting, then it has to be either Egypt or Morocco. Egypt have a comfortable group but Morocco edge the dark horse stakes for us. They are looking an exciting, confident outfit and with a proven manager behind them can spring a surprise.
11th January 2017 / lee - Category: International Football Betting