Running from January 9th to February 6, 2022, the delayed thirty-third Africa Cup of Nations takes place in Cameroon. There have been some changes of venue but anticipation is high for this tournament that sees the top African nations battling it out. Algeria will be out to defend the title that they won in 2019. Our experts at Wincomparator will be giving you free tips during the tournament. Let's find out more about this upcoming event.
To be able to bet well on the 2021 African Cup and understand each facet of each game before making your predictions, it is first necessary to understand the format of the event. The 2021 tournament saw the number of countries taking part in the finals, increased to 24. That proved to be a success so it's been adopted for this one too.
The 24 teams (23 qualifiers plus hosts Cameroon) have been drawn into six groups of four. The top two countries in each group automatically qualify for the knock-out stages. That leaves four places up for grabs and they will be filled by the four best third-placed sides The group stages run from January 9-20. Then it's onto the knock-out rounds all the way to the final. The two countries that lose in the semi-finals will take part in a third/fourth place play-off.
It is important to know your statistics when placing bets on any football event. Looking back at the 2019 African Cup of Nations, there are some interesting facts to be learned. For example, the low number of goals scored. Then there's the fact that of 36 group games played in 2019, 25% of them ended in draws. There is a lot at stake here, so tight games are perhaps inevitable. Here are ten stats from the 2019 tournament and the qualifiers for this event.
When you bet on AFCON, it's not just statistics that are important to consider. You also need to examine certain factors before making your predictions. Below are the most important to take into account before your final decison is made.
If you follow these seven tips when making your predictions about the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (its official name), then you can get better results systematically. This is a tough competition though and there will be surprises.
There are 24 countries in the group stages. Eight of them will be going home after the group games have been completed, while the remaining 16 will battle it out in the knock-out stages. Let's take a closer look at the six groups.
Cameroon are the hosts and they will be keen to stay in the tournament as long as they possibly can. They have made at least the quarter finals in eight of the last ten African Cup of Nations tournaments. Burkina Faso are in good form and are in their first finals since finishing third in 2017. Ethiopia are the lowest ranked country in this group at 100. They won this competition in 1962 but have reached the finals for the first time since 1982. Cape Verde will be chasing at least third place and have qualified for the first time since 2015.
Our Prediction: 1 Cameroon 2 Burkina Faso 3 Cape Verde 4 Ethiopia
Senegal are the highest ranked African team, currently 20th in the world. They were the losing finalists in the 2019 AFCON. We strongly expect them to win this group. The current rankings have them 56 places ahead of Guinea who are out of the 2022 World Cup but made it to the last 16 of AFCON in 2019. Zimbabwe have been in poor form this year and that led to their World Cup exit. Malawi are world ranked 115th (two places below Zimbabwe) and also not on their way to Qatar next year. They last appeared in this tournament in 2010 and have never made it to the knock-out stages.
Our Prediction: 1 Senegal 2 Guinea 3 Zimbabwe 4 Malawi
Not since 1976 have Morocco won this tournament. Their World Cup qualifying group has been going very well though. They look the likely winners of this group. Ghana are having a struggle in the World Cup and don't look capable of winning a fifth AFCON title, the last being in 1982. Gabon are struggling for form and will battle it out for third place with Comoros who are world ranked 133rd and lost in the first round of World Cup qualifying.
Our Prediction: 1 Morocco 2 Ghana 3 Gabon 4.Comoros.
Nigeria are the highest ranked country in this group at 34. They have won this title three times and since 1976 only once failed to reach at least the quarter finals. Egypt are the record holders with seven titles and of course have Mo Salah. They have been playing well in the World Cup qualifiers and will be the team to beat in this group. Sudan have already been knocked out of the World Cup. Guinea-Bissau are 22 places above them in the world rankings and can finish third in this group but unlikely to get the results to take them into the knock-out stages.
Our prediction: 1 Egypt 2 Nigeria 3 Guinea-Bassau 4. Sudan
Algeria look to defend their title and should have few problems making it into the knock-out rounds. They still have a bit of work to do in their World Cup qualifying group. Being knocked out of that would be a big blow for them ahead of this competition. Sierra Leone have been struggling and lost in the first round of the World Cup qualifiers. Equatorial Guinea have an outside chance of World Cup success but don't always do well on their travels. Ivory Coast should be the other side to qualify from this group. They won this trophy in 2015 but might not be that popular when they arrive in Cameroon. They are in a close battle with them in the World Cup and have a vital away game against them in November.
Our prediction: 1 Algeria 2 Ivory Coast 3 Equatorial Quinea 4. Sierra Leone
Tunisia have only won this tournament once and that was in 2004. They are in good form and should make the knock-out stages without too much difficulty. Mali are also in good form and keep it tight at the back with no goals conceded so far in their World Cup qualifying group. Mauritania are out of the World Cup and will struggle in this group. Gambia didn't even make it past the first round of World Cup qualifying and they too will struggle for points, especially against Tunisia and Mali.
Our prediction: 1 Mali 2 Tunisia 3 Gambia 4. Mauritania
Can Algeria retain their title? When odds are released by bookmakers, they are bound to be near the top of the market. Senegal have a strong set of players and will aim to go one place higher than they did when losing the 2019 final. Ranked 20th in the world, they are the highest placed African side. Their squad includes Sadio Mané, Ismaïla Sarr, Gana Gueye, Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy, so they certainly have the firepower to lift the trophy. Egypt can never be ruled out, especially if Mo Salah continues his impressive form. Host nation Cameroon will be dangerous on home soil and Tunisia, Morocco and Nigeria also all have good chances of success in this tournament. Follow our expert tips throughout the tournament.