African Cup Of Nations Group D Guide

African Cup Of Nations Group D Guide

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African Cup Of Nations Group D Guide

Egypt

Qualification

Egypt qualified with relative ease for this tournament, they were initially placed into a group alongside Nigeria, Tanzania and Chad. However Chad withdrew from the tournament citing financial constraints for their decision. Only the top spot guarantees qualification through the final stage so it was vital that Egypt claimed it. They did so with relative ease, without losing any of their four matches. They finished with a total of 10 points after three wins and a draw (away at Nigeria), five points clear of Nigeria in second place. They conceded just once in those four matches, scoring seven times with their top goalscorer being Mohamed Salah who got an impressive four in four.

Star Man

They have a few well known names in their squad such as Hull City’s Ahmed El Mohamady, Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny and Stoke City’s Ramadan Sabhoi, however they do have one stand out talent. Roma’s attacker Mohamed Salah is arguably the best player which Egpyt have. The 24-year-old probably didn’t get a proper chance when he signed for Chelsea, but since moving to Italy he has proven the quality of player that he is. He initially went on loan to Roma but when he scored 14 in 34, the Serie A outfit decided to sign him permanently. This looks to be a very good addition to their squad as his record so far this season is 16 games, 8 goals, which they will be very satisfied with. He will be a nuisance to defenders this tournament, using his pace to his advantage.

How Far Can They Go?

Their is no reason why Egypt can’t go all the way in this tournament. They are the most successful team in this tournament having won it seven times, with the closest teams to that being Ghana and Cameroon who have both won it four times. It’s been a strange decade for them in this competition. After winning it three years on the bounce (2006, 2008 and 2010), they then failed to qualify for the following three tournaments. So it is difficult to say how they will do in their return. One thing is for sure, they will definitely be competitive.

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Ghana

Qualification

As expected the Ghanians had no issues with their qualification into this tournament. They were placed into a group with Mozambique, Rwanda and Mauritius. In comparison to some of the teams in which they could have been drawn against, this was a fairly easy group. They finished at the summit of the group with a healthy gap of seven points between them and Mozambique in second place. From their six matches they won four of them and drew two of them, ending with a points total of 14. They started off the campaign with an impressive 7-1 win over Mauritius which sort of the set to tone for their qualification. Jordan Ayew was their top scorer with four goals in their six matches.

Star Man

Ghana possess plenty of talent throughout their squad, lots of those who are well known players in England. The likes of Christian Atsu, Andre & Jordan Ayew, Daniel Amartey and Jeff Schlupp are all household names but it’s very difficult to look past the record of their skipper. Asamoah Gyan, their 31-year-old striker who spent two years in the North East at Sunderland has an impressive goal scoring record everywhere he has played. For his country he has scored a solid 48 in 97 and will be looking at adding to that tally in in this tournament.

How Far Can They Go?

They have been frustratingly close to winning it for the past five competitions, so there is no reason that they can’t come away as Champions this time round. They are the joint second most successful team in the AFCON along with Cameroon, having won this tournament four times, but the last time they won it was 1982. In the last five competitions they have been in the top four, losing in the final twice. So they will be desperate to be crowned Champions this time round. We see them once again reaching the semi-finals, but with Algeria potentially standing it their way we think that may be where they are eliminated.

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Mali

Qualification

Mali breezed through their qualification group for this tournament with absolute ease. They were placed into a group alongside Benin, Equatorial Guinea and South Sudan, therefore they were expected to finish comfortably in first place. That’s exactly what happened as they collected an impressive 16 points from their six fixtures, winning five and drawing one (away at Benin). They finished with a five point gap between them and Benin who finished in second place, with Equatorial Guinea in third with just four points.

Star Man

Mali don’t have too many well known names in their squad, but arguably their best player at the moment is Bakary Sako currently of Crystal Palace. The 28-year-old forward who originally came to these shores when Wolverhampton Wanderers signed him from French side St Etienne has serious pace and can be a nightmare for defenders with his skill. He got a move to the Premier League with Palace but has recently been linked with a move to Birmingham City. He has an impressive 9 goals in 18 matches for his nation so will be key for them here.

How Far Can They Go?

This will be the fifth straight AFCON in which they’ve qualified for, but they have never been crowned Champions. The closest in which they have come was in back to back competitions (2012 & 2013) when they were beaten in the semi-final but then won the third place play off both times. We do not see them getting that far this time around, they face a tricky task getting out of the group with Ghana and Egypt both fancied to progress. We cannot see them upsetting those two and they will probably finish in third place.

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Uganda

Qualification

Uganda are the only nation in this group who have qualified but didn’t manage to top their group. They weren’t a million miles away though as they finished in second place level on points with Burkina Faso but they had the better head to head record after beating Uganda at home and earning a draw away. Both sides collected 13 points from their six fixtures after winning four, drawing one and losing two.

Star Man

Their star man and most promising prospect in their squad is a midfielder named Farouk Miya. The 21-year-old was noticed by Belgian outfit Standard Liege when he scored 20 goals in 49 appearances for Ugandan Vipers SC. Standard Liege initially took him on loan where he scored in his only appearance and earned himself a permanent move. His record for his nation is 13 goals in 24 matches so he will be looking at firing them to success here.

How Far Can They Go?

It will take something extremely special for them if they are going to win this, realistically the most that they can hope for is probably a quarter final place. They’ve never won this competition, this is actually the first one that they have qualified for since 1978 where they reached the final that year but were beaten by Ghana 2-0. Unfortunately for them it would take a monumental effort to replicate that and we cannot see it. All three teams in their group have stronger squads and it may be a struggle for the Ugandan’s to even pick up a single point.

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Recommended Bets:

Ghana to win Group D (Best priced at 6/4 with BetVictor) – BET HERE

Ghana 1st/Egypt 2nd (Best priced at 9/2 with Sky Bet) – BET HERE

Ghana to be eliminated in the semi-finals (Best priced at 9/2 with Sky Bet)- BET HERE

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Watch highlights from the 2015 AFCON final here: