AFCON 2017: Meet the three title favourites

AFCON Trophy

Africa will be agog this weekend as the 31st edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) takes centre stage in Gabon.

Sixteen teams will battle it out for who succeeds Cote d’Ivoire while the Elephants are expected to resist any attempt to be dethroned as African champions.

However, only one team will emerge as kings of the continent come 5th February at the Stade de l’Amitié, Libreville.

With that in mind, we take a look at the three genuine contenders for the crown.

  1. Cote d’Ivoire

Cote d’Ivoire’s golden generation seem to be gradually fading away but nevertheless, the Elephants are still a force to be reckoned with on the continent. The likes of Manchester United’s Eric Bailly, Paris Saint-Germaine’s Serge Aurier, and Wilfred Zaha will more than make up for the absence of some of the more experienced bunch. They face DR Congo, Morocco and Togo in Group C.

  1. Egypt

Egypt might be staging a comeback to the competition after missing the last three editions but the Pharaohs are very much in the running for the title. Record seven-time champions, Egypt, qualified at the expense of another heavyweight, Nigeria, which should motivate Héctor Cúper’s lads. They are drawn against Mali, Ghana and Uganda in Group D.

  1. Algeria

Probably Africa’s best team on paper, Algeria head to Gabon with loads of pressure and expectations. This is because the Desert Foxes haven’t won the title in over 27 years and presently boasts probably the best assemblage of Algerian players in history. The form of Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani, Yacine Brahimi and Nabil Bentaleb should be enough to end their trophy drought.