Starting in early January, midway through most retrospective club seasons, the players called up to play for their national team in Africa head off to compete in the African cup of nations. But who will win the competition this year?
Every two years 24 teams battle it out over a month. This year’s competition is hosted by Cameroon who look like strong favourites themselves to take the crown away from defending champions Algeria. Due to the coronavirus pandemic there has been a year delay with the competition, supposed to have been played in January 2021. The eager wait for the players and fans is now over as the 2022 AFCON is soon to begin.
The competitiveness of the competition this year is going to be unmatched with so much quality in so many different countries. Algeria will be strong favourites as reigning champions of the competition. Their side includes Manchester City star Rihad Mahrez who is on top form for his club. Algeria are currently 40 games unbeaten in all competitions which makes them a major candidate for success again this year.
Nigeria come into the tournament with a very strong squad including Leicester City stars Kilechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi. They themselves would fancy themselves this year with the strength in depth that they have.
Other countries such as Egypt and Senegal who both contain Liverpool starlets in Mohammed Salah (Egypt) and Sadio Mane (Senegal) are huge threats with such firepower at the top half of the pitch. Both these players having one the African Player of the year in most recent years will be looking to drive their countries to success.
“I think Senegal are strong favourites. They have players such as Sadio Mane, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edourd Mendy who are all in their prime stage of their career performance wise and playing at the best of their ability” is what Michael Williams had to say as an avid fan of this competition.
The tournament starts on the 9th January 2022 and concludes at the Paul Biya Stadium on the 6th February 2022.