The stage is set for the 28th edition of the African Cup Of Nations that begins tomorrow in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon with two Group A fixtures between the hosts Equatorial Guinea and Libya in the early kick off and the eagerly awaited Senegal v Zambia clash in the late kick off.
Of course attention is mainly focused on tournament favourites Ivory Coast who will be looking to win their first title since winning the tournament 20 years ago. However, for one man in particular, the tournament has even greater meaning.
Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba is now 33 and it is no secret that this could be the last time he represents his country at such a high stage. Together with Boubacar Barry, Didier Zokora and Kolo Toure, the Ivory Coast’s golden generation could be coming to an end.
However, the Ivory Coast are not the only team that have a good shot at winning the 28th edition of the AFCON. Senegal, Mali and Ghana cannot be written off.
Below is a brief look at the make up of the 4 groups.
So what are my predictions? Well, to be quite honest, in Group A Senegal are the favourites, however, for the second qualifying slot, i would have to go with Zambia, having watched them play in the regional CECAFA ( confederation of East and Central African Football Association) tournament in 2010, i do believe they have the extra edge over Libya.
They have speedy attackers and a never die spirit that could do them well. In Group B, my choices would have t be Ivory Coast and Angola. Burkina Faso and Sudan would not be any match for the pair.
Group C is an open group with any of the 4 having a shot at making it to the quarter finals. However, i am putting my money on Niger sealing one spot. You have to remember they held Nigeria to a 2-2 draw in Abuja to hand them their ticket to the tournament.
Group D is already a done deal with Ghana and Mali both the favourites to move on to the quarter finals. So if my predictions do come true, then i am sure we will be in for a great tournament.