Battle for African glory: Power ranking eight favorites in the 2023 championship

Posted : 12 January 2024

The African Championship, hosted by Ivory Coast, promises thrilling football as Morocco aims to replicate World Cup success and secure a second-ever title. In their quest, Morocco's defensive prowess, led by stars like Ashraf Hakimi and Noussair Mazraoui, will be crucial, despite concerns about the form of key players like Hakim Ziyech and Sofiane Amrabat.

 

Senegal, the reigning champions, face challenges as their top players, Sadio Mane, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Edouard Mendy, now play in Saudi Arabia. However, the Teranga Lions boast a strong midfield with Idrissa Gueye and Papa Matar Sarr, while Chelsea's Nicholas Jackson adds firepower in attack under coach Aliou Cisse.

 

Ivory Coast, hosting for the second time, aspires to surpass quarterfinals and relies on a midfield duo, Sekou Fofana and Franck Kessie, who moved to Saudi Arabia. With a mix of experienced players and rising talents like Sebastian Haller and Simon Vadingara, Ivory Coast aims to make a deep run.

 

Egypt, led by record-holder Mohamed Salah, seeks redemption after their last triumph in 2010. Salah, in stellar form, carries the team's hopes, supported by striker Omar Marmouche and midfielder Mohamed Elneny. Despite limited star power, Egypt aims to capitalize on Salah's brilliance.

 

Algeria remains a wildcard, with uncertainties surrounding an aging squad and key players like Riyad Mahrez moving to Saudi Arabia. Striker Mohamed Amora provides hope, hoping to shine after a successful season in Belgium.

 

Nigeria's Super Eagles boast a formidable attacking lineup, led by Victor Osimhen, Ademola Lookman, and others. Despite missing some key players, including Victor Boniface, Nigeria possesses depth across various positions, making them a strong contender.

 

Ghana, aiming to bounce back from a lackluster 2021 campaign, features a promising attacking trio in Mohammed Kudus, Iñaki Williams, and the Ayew brothers. However, defensive concerns and the absence of Thomas Partey raise questions about their title ambitions.

 

Cameroon, a five-time champion, faces challenges with key players like Vincent Aboubakar aging and injuries affecting the squad. The Fearless Lions will rely on Andre Anguissa's midfield prowess, while goalkeeper Andre Onana aims to provide stability.

 

As the tournament unfolds, the dynamics among these eight favorites will determine the path to African glory, showcasing the rich football talent the continent has to offer.

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