Africa Cup of Nations Group C Guide

Africa Cup of Nations Group C Guide

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Africa Cup of Nations Group C Guide

Ivory Coast

Qualification

Ivory Coast secured their place in the Africa Cup of Nations by finishing top of Group I in qualification, but things didn’t run as smoothly as they liked. They progressed through into the tournament with the lowest points total (6) although they did play two fewer games. Michel Dussuyer’s won just one of their four games which ultimately proved to be enough to send them through. That victory came over Sudan and was followed up with three draws which included two against Sierra Leone. They never really played to level we know they’re capable of, but they’ll be determined to get off to a good start here and defend their crown.

Star Man

Michel Dussuyer is blessed with plenty of strength in depth and their aren’t many sides in the tournament that boast the amount of talent that the Ivory Coast possess. The likes of Eric Bailly, Serge Aurier & debutant Wilfried Zaha will all have a big impact but we’re expecting Aston Villa Jonathan Kodija to be the star man in this side. The striker has shot to prominence over the last twelve months due to his scoring form for Bristol City and now Villa – hitting 28 goals in 63 games. His form has lead to a role in the national side and he’s had a great start to life leading the line. He’s hit three goals in six appearances and we can see him adding plenty more to that total in Gabon with the likes of Zaha, Gervinho and Max Gradel supporting him in midfield.

How Far Can They Go?

Ivory Coast come into AFCON as the current holders and it’s well within their capabilities to lift the trophy for the third time in their history. Despite some of their most experienced players retiring in Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure and Boubacar Barry there’s still more than enough talent in their ranks to go all the way. They line up in Group C alongside Morocco, Togo & DR Congo and whilst it’s a tough group on paper, we can see them navigating their way through and making it into the semi-finals at least. However we predict that they will face Senegal in the semi’s which will be a tough task and we feel that they may just miss out on the final.

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DR Congo

Qualification

DR Congo sealed their place in Gabon by finishing top of Group B in qualifying. Florent Ibenge’s men cruised to top spot ahead of Madagascar, Angola & Central African Republic – winning five of their six games. Their highlight of qualification came when they thrashed second placed Central African Republic 4-1 in a game that sealed their spot in the tournament. They ended up with a total of fifteen points from their six games which was one of the highest tallies throughout the group stage. Congo are the second highest ranked team in the group and they’ll be confident of going through.

Star Man

Congo may not be blessed with the strength in depth that group rivals Ivory Coast but there’s still enough talent in their squad to mount a strong push for top spot. One man who we’re expecting to shine this tournament is striker Cedric Bakambu. The Villarreal is one of the most lethal finishers in the tournament and he’s a man their group rivals simply can’t afford to give time to in the box. He’s proven at club lethal that he’s a big game player by scoring 22 goals last season and if Congo are to progress in the tournament, a lot of it will come down to Bakambu.

How Far Can They Go?

This is one of the tightest groups in the tournament and it promises to be a slog for each side involved. Ivory Coast are the favourites to top the group but Congo will fancy their chances of challenging for the runners-up position. They’re likely to be slogging it out with Morocco and their clash on match day one could go a long way to deciding their fate in the competition. We can see them being a tricky opponent in Group C but we think they’ll just come short, with Morocco stealing second spot behind Ivory Coast.

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Morocco

Qualification

Morocco qualified for the AFCON Finals courtesy of topping Group F and it’s safe to say they cruised through. Herve Ranard’s men came out of their six games as the only unbeaten side in their group – winning five and drawing once. Ten goals for and just one against shows just how comfortable they were during qualification and they’ll be confident they can follow it up in Gabon. The star in qualifying for them was Youssef El-Arabi – the forward hit four goals which was one of the highest totals throughout the group stage.

Star Man

The Moroccans have a couple of well-known players within their ranks, Medhi Benatia is a very capable defender who plays for Juventus but we’re expecting big things from Sofiane Boufal in this tournament. The Southampton winger is only young (23) but he is a very exciting talent. Having excelled for Lille last season, scoring 12 times in 35 appearances he earned a move to the Premier League in the summer and signed for Southampton. He has recently broken into the Saints team and has shown glimpses of that he can do. He has great pace and skill and frightens the defenders he is up against. He is a relative newcomer to the Morocco squad and has just three caps to his name, but he will be their main attacking threat at this tournament.

How Far Can They Go?

They are in a tough group with the Ivory Coast and DR Congo, we think that they will just pip the Congolese to second place. They have a little more quality all around the pitch with the likes of Benatia keeping it tight at the back and when it comes to the crunch match between the two nations we see that as being a key factor. We cannot see them going much further however, we are predicting them to run into Ghana in the last eight and that is where we see them being eliminated.

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Togo

Qualification

Togo reached the AFCON showpiece as one of the two best runners-up in qualifying. Les Eperviers finished second place in Group A behind Tunisia and were beaten just once in their six qualifying matches, winning three times. The Togolese were a tough nut to crack, shipping just four goals in their six matches which also showing some flair going forward and scoring 11 times.

Star Man

During qualifying is was Floyd Ayite who was the main man scoring three of their 11 goals, but there remains one star name amongst the Togolese ranks. Emmanuel Adebayor is still very much part of the national team despite being a free agent at the moment. The former Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur striker is Togo’s record goalscorer with 30 goals in his 72 caps and he has carried the hopes of his national for a long time now. The only issue with him will be fitness, not having a club means that he has no minutes on the pitch this season and that could have an impact on his performances in Gabon. However, he comes alive in the box and if presented the opportunity to score he will more often than not take it.

How Far Can They Go? 

Unfortunately they do not have the strongest squad and they have been placed in an extremely tough group. We cannot see the Togolese making it beyond the group phases this time around with the other nations possessing more quality. They are capable of pulling off an upset and possibly claiming a win against one of their opponents but we cannot see them producing much more than that at this tournament.

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Recommended Bets: 

Ivory Coast 1st/Morocco 2nd (Best priced at 5/2 with Sky Bet) – BET HERE

Ivory Coast to be eliminated in the semi-finals (Best priced at 7/2 with Sky Bet) – BET HERE

Morocco to be eliminated in the quarter-finals (Best priced at 5/2 with Sky Bet) – BET HERE

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Watch highlights from the 2015 AFCON final here: