100 days to AFCON 2017: Who are the favourites to win in Gabon?
Yaya Toure of Ivory Coast lifts trophy during the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations football Final match between Ivory Coast and Ghana at the Bata Stadium, Bata, Equatorial Guinea on 8 February 2015
Wednesday Oct 05, 2016. 14:31
With the opening game of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations exactly 100 days way, AfricanFootball.com runs through the favourites to come out on top in Gabon.
As hosts, the Panthers will fancy their chances of a first AFCON title. Spearheaded by the inform Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang; Gabon fans will be hoping that their team hold the trophy aloft come the final in Libreville at the start of February.
As the defending champions, the Ivory Coast will also fancy their chances of retaining the title. But, without talisman ,Yaya Toure, the West Africans will be hoping whoever fills his massive shoes will be able to step up to the plate.
Having narrowly edged past Sierra Leone on the final day of qualifying, the Elephants know there is a lot of work to be done if they are to defend their crown. The West Africans are currently Africa’s top ranked team (they occupy 35th place in the latest FIFA World Rankings).
Spearheaded by Liverpool ace, Sadio Mane, hopes are high that the Lions of Teranga can finally break their AFCON curse. Senegal have yet to win Africa’s most coveted title; losing to Cameroon in the 2002 final before that historic run at the FIFA World Cup in Japan/South Korea.
Last year’s runners-up, the Black Stars will again be amongst the favourites to win what will be their first AFCON title since 1982. With the likes of Andre and Jordan Ayew – Ghana fans are hopeful that the current crop can finally add a fifth AFCON triumph, having lost in both the 2010 and 2015 finals.
Coached by two-time AFCON winner, Herve Renard, the Atlas Lions will definitely fancy their chance of only a second title. Morocco last won the African showpiece in 1976. But, with the likes of Hakim Ziyech in their ranks, the North Africans will definitely be a force in Gabon.
Last but not least, the Pharaohs are back at an AFCON tournament for the first time since charging to the 2010 title in Angola. But, the seven-time champions will be one of the favourites to come out on top at next year’s showpiece with Mohamed Salah and Co set to dazzle in Gabon.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) October 5, 2016