AFCON Update – Who’s Through, Who’s Out And Who’s Still Battling?

The African Cup Of Nations (AFCON) is now well underway in Cameroon and today, Monday 17th January, sees the final set of Group Stage games begin and they certainly promise to hold plenty of drama, with almost every team still in with a realistic chance of making the Knockout Phase of the competition.

It is fair to say that the tournament has already seen some unusual moments but generally there have not been too many goals in the tournament so far and organisers will be hoping that things liven up a little as we reach the stage where for many teams, a defeat means they are out of the tournament.

In this article, we are going to give you a review of where we are in the tournament in each of the six groups, plus give you some updated odds on the tournament itself and see whether the performances we have witnessed so far has changed where the money is being bet for this event.

As always, we will use bet365 Sport for our odds for the tournament given the site’s extensive coverage of this African sporting showcase.

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Let’s now start with a review of how each of the six groups stand ahead of the final group games which start later today.

AFCON – Group Standings

Group A

  1. Cameroon – 6pts (+4) – Qualified
  2. Burkina Faso – 3pts (0)
  3. Cape Verde – 3pts (0)
  4. Ethiopia – 0pts (-4)

Remaining Games

Monday 17th January 4pm Kick Off (UK Time)

  • Burkina Faso v Ethiopia
  • Cameroon v Cape Verde

Cameroon have been the best team of the tournament in their opening two games so far scoring six goals and conceding two and it is not surprising they are the new favourites for the tournament, especially as they are the host nation too.

Cameroon have qualified as group winners, but could be pipped to top spot, although it is unlikely, should they lose by enough goals to Cape Verde. Ethiopia need a big win over Burkina Faso to give themselves a chance of qualifying, whereas Burkina Faso likely only need a point, but would definitely qualify in second with a win.

Predictions – Take Burkina Faso to beat Ethiopia (11/20) and Cameroon to get the better of Cape Verse (4/6) and for those two teams to qualify in the top two spots.

Group B

  1. Guinea – 4pts (+1)
  2. Senegal – 4pts (+1)
  3. Malawi – 3pts (0)
  4. Zimbabwe – 0pts (-2) – Eliminated

Remaining Games

Tuesday 18th January 4pm Kick Off (UK Time)

  • Malawi v Senegal
  • Zimbabwe v Guinea

Zimbabwe are the only team eliminated from the competition for sure at this stage as their defeat to Malawi means they cannot move out of fourth spot in the group, even with a win over Guinea.

Guinea and Senegal are locked in a battle for top spot in the group but it has to be said that given the results in the group so far, which has seen just five goals in the four games played, it does look like Guinea have the easier task.

Senegal haven’t impressed as yet and needed a late penalty to beat Zimbabwe. They’ll need to improve against Malawi but it should be noted that they have not conceded a goal in this tournament as yet.

Predictions – Take Guinea to top the group with a win over Zimbabwe (4/6), while I am backing Senegal to get back to winning ways with a narrow win over Malawi (4/11).

Group C

  1. Morocco – 6pts (+3)- Qualified
  2. Gabon – 4pts (+1)
  3. Ghana – 1pt (-1)
  4. Comoros – 0pts (-3)

Remaining Games

Tuesday 18th January 8pm Kick Off (UK Time)

  • Gabon v Morocco (8pm)
  • Ghana v Comoros (8pm)

Morocco and Gabon should be all but qualified from this group, although who finished first and second will be decided by the outcome of their game against each other today and I have a feeling that this game will probably end up all-square, with both teams happy to progress to the next round.

The Ghana v Comoros game though is an important one too as a win for Ghana will likely qualify them as one of the four best third placed teams, however a draw or defeat would likely see them eliminated from the tournament. Similarly a good win for Comoros could even see them given a shot at a third place qualification spot, but that is a big ask for the minnows of this group.

Predictions – I see Gabon and Morocco finishing in a draw (9/5) while I think Ghana will earn a key victory over Comoros (3/10) which will put them in the knockout phase as one of the best third place teams.

Group D

  1. Nigeria – 6pts (+3) – Qualified
  2. Egypt – 3pts (0)
  3. Guinea-Bissau – 1pt (-1)
  4. Sudan – 1pt (-2)

Remaining Games

Wednesday 19th January 7pm Kick Off (UK Time)

  • Egypt v Sudan
  • Guinea-Bissau v Nigeria

The pressure is off Nigeria here with them already qualifying for the next phase after two wins in their opening two games. However, they’ll want to finish off the group strongly and I think they’ll do that against a Guinea-Bissau team that has not scored in their two games as yet.

Egypt got a badly needed win in their last game against Guinea-Bissau thanks to Mo Salah’s strike, and a win here would ensure that they finish second in the group and that is not too difficult to envisage against a Sudan side who have scored just one goal, a penalty, in the competition so far.

Predictions – Take a win for Nigeria (7/10) and another for Egypt (1/4) in these two games to ensure these teams go through as the top two in this group.

Group E

  1. Ivory Coast – 4pts (+1)
  2. Equatorial Guinea – 3pts (0)
  3. Sierra Leone – 2pts (0)
  4. Algeria – 1pt (-1)

Remaining Games

Thursday 20th January 5pm Kick Off (UK Time)

  • Ivory Coast v Algeria
  • Sierra Leone v Equatorial Guinea

This group produced the biggest shock of the tournament when holders Algeria were beaten by Equatorial Guinea 1-0, a reslt which means Algeria must win their final group game, against the Ivory Coast, if they are to stand a chance of qualifying from the group.

Sierra Leone have provided some romance in the competition earning two draws and if they can get something from their game with Equatorial Guinea, they will stand a real chance of progressing into the knockout phase, which would be a huge achievement for the team.

Predictions – This is the toughest coupe of games to call, but I am backing Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea to finish as a draw (15/8), while I think the same may be true of the Ivory Coast v Algeria game (21/10).

Group F

  1. Gambia – 4pts (+1)
  2. Mali – 4pts (+1)
  3. Tunisia – 3pts (+3)
  4. Mauritania – 0pts (-5)

Remaining Games

Thursday 20th January 8pm Kick Off (UK Time)

  • Gambia v Tunisia
  • Mali v Mauritania

Predictions – Despite being third in this group, Tunisia have a good chance of qualifying as a third place team at least, even if they lost narrowly to Gambia. However, I can see Tunisia (8/13) winning this game which may take them into one of the top two spots. Mali (2/5) should be too strong for Mauritania and I think that will see them top the group.

Who Would Qualify?

Based on the betting predictions above this would mean the following teams qualify in the top two of their group:

  • Group A – Cameroon & Burkina Faso
  • Group B – Guinea & Senegal
  • Group C – Morocco & Gabon
  • Group D – Nigeria & Egypt
  • Group E – Ivory Coast & Equatorial Guinea
  • Group F – Mali & Tunisia

In addition the four best third placed teams to qualify would be: Ghana (Group C), Gambia (Group F), Sierra Leone (Group E) and either Malawi (Group B) or Cape Verde (Group A), depending on their goal difference.

Outright Winner Betting

At the start of the tournament, Senegal were the favourites to win the trophy, but since then their odds have drifted slightly, while Cameroon’s good form has seen them attract plenty of bets and that means the hosts are now the 5/1 favourites to win the event.

However, the very close nature of the game means that there are effectively now six teams that the bookies feel stand the best chance of success. Alongside Cameroon and Senegal we have Nigeria and Morocco who are both 6/1, Ivory Coast are 13/2 and Algeria, despite being bottom of Group E after two games, are still ranked as a 7/1 shot.

With the tournament heating up nicely, let’s see what this final set of group game brings.


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