12 June 2019, by: Leonard Solms

AFCON 2019 BETTING TIPS – GROUP PREVIEWS

Due to the expansion of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to 24 teams from 16, there will be a handful of unknown quantities in the group stage of the 2019 tournament in Egypt.

This could result in some memorable upsets, but it will take some work for the minnows of African football to unseat the established challengers for the throne.

Egypt, Nigeria and Senegal are tipped to make light work of the obstacles in their path. The group stage likely won’t be plain sailing for all of Africa’s traditional giants though.

Morocco, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Ghana will have their work cut out for them as they each look to earn a favourable round of 16 tie. Fortunately for these teams, qualifying for the knockout rounds should not be an issue as the top two from each group and the four best third-placed teams will all make it through.

Group A - Egypt, Zimbabwe, Uganda & DR Congo

Hosts, 2017 runners-up and tournament favourites Egypt should have little trouble in the round-robin stage with Mohamed Salah likely to fire the Pharaohs to top spot.

Zimbabwe’s Warriors could be the surprise package here with familiar faces like Khama Billiat and Knowledge Musona leading the charge.

BET: GROUP A WINNER

Group B - Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar & Burundi

Guinea have the potential to spring a surprise, as they proved by finishing above Ivory Coast in their qualifying group, but chances are Nigeria will be too strong for all three opponents here. The Super Eagles endured a barren period after their 2013 tournament win but are enjoying a gradual revival under Gernot Rohr.

Nigeria went to last year’s FIFA World Cup with the tournament’s youngest squad and were unlucky not to make the knockout rounds but will be better for the experience gained there.

BET: GROUP B WINNER

Group C - Senegal, Algeria, Kenya & Tanzania

Africa’s highest-ranked team in the FIFA Rankings, Senegal, are tipped to top this group with ease. Make no mistake; Algeria are not to be taken lightly with a squad featuring big names such as Yacine Brahimi and Riyad Mahrez.

 

The Lions of Teranga are a different breed, however, with Sadio Mané, Kalidou Koulibaly, Idrissa Gueye and Cheikhou Kouyaté among the household names in Aliou Cissé’s golden generation.

BET: GROUP C WINNER

Group D - Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa & Namibia

When calling the winner in this group, it is difficult to separate 2015 champions Ivory Coast from a Morocco side coached by Hervé Renard, the man who led the Ivorians to that title. Ultimately, Ajax Amsterdam’s starlet Hakim Ziyech is tipped to give Morocco the edge.

South Africa have proven themselves capable of springing surprises on the big guns, beating Nigeria 2-0 away in qualifying. Namibia are the underdogs in what should be a tightly-contested group, but the Brave Warriors have nothing to lose and plenty of players with PSL experience.

BET: GROUP D WINNER

Group E - Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania & Angola

Africa’s second-ranked team, Tunisia, are favourites to finish top of the pile having pipped Egypt to first place in their qualifying group. Do not count Mali’s exciting young squad out, but for all their talented players plying their trade in Europe, they are short of both big tournament experience and true household names. Mauritania and Angola might struggle to keep pace here and they each face an uphill battle to make the round of 16.

BET: GROUP E WINNER

Group F - Ghana, Cameroon, Benin & Guinea-Bissau

Cameroon are defending African champions, but the Indomitable Lions are likely to struggle to defend their crown. They suffered a blow in their preparations when coach Clarence Seedorf was unable to convince defensive duo Joël Matip and Nicolas Nkoulou to make themselves available for selection.

 

Their loss is Ghana’s gain although the Black Stars have had their own off-field troubles with veteran striker Asamoah Gyan retiring and then going back on his decision. Benin and Guinea-Bissau are huge outsiders in this group.

BET: GROUP F WINNER

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