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AFCON 2023: Teams to watch out for as competition begins this weekend

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The 2023 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will begin this weekend.

West African giants, Ivory Coast, is the host nation for the 2023 AFCON.

The competition will take place from 13 January to 11 February, 2024.

Senegal are the defending champions after beating Egypt 4-2 on penalties in the 2021 AFCON final following a 0-0 draw in Cameroon.

Egypt, meanwhile, are the most successful team in Africa that have won seven AFCON titles.

In the 2023 AFCON, there are 24 teams set to battle for Africa’s biggest trophy in Ivory Coast.

The 24 teams are Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, Mozambique, Ghana, Cape Verde, Senegal, Gambia, Cameroon, Guinea, Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, South Africa, Tunisia, Namibia, Morocco, Tanzania, Zambia and DR Congo.

However, with a few days remaining for the 2023 AFCON, DAILY POST reports some of the teams to watch out for during the competition.

Speaking with DAILY POST on the subject matter on Monday, Ochiba football coach, Emmanuel Brown, singled out the likes of Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria and Ivory Coast as the teams to watch out for.

Explaining why he picked the teams, Brown said: “Talking about the AFCON this year, Africa has come of age and you cannot really point out any team to say this is an underdog team.

“There is no longer an underdog in Africa. To start saying this team will win the AFCON, I don’t think it works that way. All the teams in the competition have come of age, they are all good.

“But with the little surprise we saw in the World Cup, we must respect teams like Morocco. They are not walk-over, they are one of the teams that have been active for a very long time and trust me they are formidable.

“Another team to watch out for is Senegal, their coach is not the person that can be a pushover, he has been with the team for a very long time now and he understands the team very well and the team also understands him.

“Nigeria is also another team. With the couple of attackers they have in the team, in Africa, they cannot push Nigerian attackers away. They are doing very well all over Europe.

“I think the problem with the Nigerian team is the midfield. It is not solid and the goalkeeping department. Since [Vincent] Enyeama left that team, that goalkeeping department has been a nightmare.

“The host nation Ivory Coast is another team to watch out for, sometimes you cannot push away this home advantage. Whether we like it or not they are going to pull one or two strings. They are a formidable team to reckon with and then coupled with the home advantage, they might have an edge and you cannot push them away.”

Brown added, “In overall, I will pick a team like Morocco, Senegal and Nigeria. I am putting Nigeria just because of their attacking department.

“They can beat any defense in Africa but you know one thing is for you to score and you do not have the defense.

“Having said that, with due respect, it is not like those days where you say some teams are pushovers.

“Every team you see in AFCON is there to prove a point.”

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