Africa Cup of Nations to kick off Saturday

Africa Cup of Nations to kick off Saturday

International Soccer

Africa Cup of Nations to kick off Saturday

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Africa Cup of Nations 2012 logo 

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

Prior to Bob Bradley being appointed as its head coach, Egypt failed to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. The Pharoahs' failure is the rest of Africa's success, as for the first time in six years a new champion will be crowned.

The 28th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations is set to get underway on Saturday, and the 16 teams competing in the host nations of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea all enter with one thing in mind. They all are dreaming of becoming the side that dethrones Egypt as Africa's champion.

Ivory Coast and Ghana are the favorites to lift the cup, but lesser-known teams like Botswana and Niger will be looking to take advantage of the unpredictable nature that is African soccer in their quest to reach the final on February 12.

No matter who gets to the final at Stade d'Angondje, there should be plenty of quality soccer on display from start to finish, especially with players like Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Asamoah Gyan, Sulley Muntari and Demba Ba all called into their respective national teams. 

Here are the groups and some of the players to keep an eye on:

GROUP A

Equatorial Guinea

Libya

Senegal

Zambia

 

GROUP B

Ivory Coast

Sudan

Burkina Faso

Angola

 

GROUP C

Gabon

Niger

Morroco

Tunisia

 

GROUP D

Ghana

Botswana

Mali

Guinea

 

Players to watch: Demba Ba (Senegal), Bouna Coundoul (Senegal), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Gervinho (Ivory Coast), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast), Kolo Toure (Ivory Coast),  Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Sulley Muntari (Ghana), Karim Haggui (Tunisia), Seydou Keita (Mali).

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Who do you see advancing out of the groups? Who do you think will win the tournament? Which players do you think will do well?

Share your thoughts below. 

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