Every AFCON 2021 nation profiled – likely top scorers and tournament favourites

Egypt, Cameroon and Senegal will be among those trying to take Algeria’s AFCON crown from away from them as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang attempt to fire their countries to continental glory

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang parties prior to catching COVID

Riyad Mahrez and Algeria will be aiming to defend their Africa Cup of Nations crown over the coming weeks.

The Manchester City star helped powered his country to continental success back in 2019.

On that occasion it was Senegal and Sadio Mane who fell short in the final and they will be hoping to go one step further this time round.

Mane’s Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah will be aiming to win the first international honour of his career.

Egypt, the continent’s most successful nation, did win three successive tournaments from 2006 to 2010, but last made the final in 2017.

Ivory Coast and Cameroon are also among the favourites, with the latter hosting the competition.

Back in 2012, Zambia shocked the continent, claiming glory after a penalty shootout, and another surprise champion is not out of the question.

A host of Premier League stars have jetted off to assist in their country’s efforts, including Liverpool’s attacking duo, Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose Arsenal future is unclear.

We bring you the lowdown ahead of the opening game this evening.

Have Your Say! Who do you think will win the Africa Cup of Nations? Tell us your prediction here.

Egypt’s last AFCON win came in 2010, but Mo Salah will be hoping to change that


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Group A

Burkina Faso

Manager: Kamou Malo

Star man: Bertrand Traore

Best finish: Runners-up (2013)


Manager: Antonio Conceicao

Star Man: Andre Onana

Best finish: Winners (1984, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2017)

Cape Verde

Manager: Bubista

Star Man: Garry Rodrigues

Best finish: Quarter-finals (2013)


Manager: Wubetu Abate

Star Man: Shemeles Bekele

Best finish: Winners (1962)

Sadio Mane and Senegal lost in the final back in 2019

Group B


Manager: Kaba Diawara

Star Man: Naby Keita

Best finish: Runners-up (1976)



Star Man: Charles Petro

Best finish: Group stage (1984, 2010)


Manager: Aliou Cisse

Star Man: Sadio Mane

Best finish: Runners-up (2002, 2019)


Manager: Norman Mapeza

Star Man: Marvelous Nakamba

Best finish: Group stage (2004, 2006, 2017, 2019)

Thomas Partey will be a key man for Ghana

Group C


Manager: Amir Abdou

Star Man: Said Bakari

Best finish: N/A (tournament debutants)


Manager: Patrice Neveu

Star Man: Pierre Emerick-Aubayemang

Best finish: Quarter-finals (1996, 2012)


Manager: Milovan Rajevac

Star Man: Thomas Partey

Best finish: Winners (1964, 1965, 1978, 1982)


Manager: Vahid Halilhodzic

Star Man: Achraf Hakimi

Best finish: Winners (1976)

Group D


Manager: Carlos Quieroz

Star Man: Mo Salah

Best finish: Winners (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010)


Manager: Baciro Cande

Star Man: Mauro Rodrigues

Best finish: Group stage (2017, 2019)


Manager: Augustine Eguavoen

Star Man: Kelechi Iheanacho

Best finish: Winners (1980, 1994, 2013)


Manager: Burhan Tia

Star Man: Ali Abu Ashreen

Best finish: Winners (1970)

Algeria claimed AFCON glory in the last tournament



Group E


Manager: Djamel Belmadi

Star Man: Riyad Mahrez

Best finish: Winners (1990, 2019)

Ivory Coast

Manager: Patrice Beaumelle

Star Man: Maxwel Cornet

Best finish: Winners (1992, 2015)

Equatorial Guinea

Manager: Juan Micha

Star man: Emilio Nsue

Best finish: Fourth (2015)

Sierra Leone

Manager: John Keister

Star Man: Steven Caulker

Best finish: Group stage (1994,1996)

Group F


Manager: Tom Saintfiet

Star Man: Ebrima Darboe

Best finish: N/A (tournament debutants)


Manager: Mohamed Magassouba

Star Man: Amadou Haidara

Best finish: Runners-up (1972)


Manager: Didier Gomes Da Rosa

Star Man: Guessouma Fofana

Best finish: Group stage (2015)


Manager: Mondher Kebaier

Star Man: Hannibal Mejbri

Best finish: Champions (2011)

Ajax star Sebastian Haller has been in prolific form this season


Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Tournament favourites

Algeria 6/1

Egypt 7/1

Senegal/Ivory Coast 8/1

Top scorer odds

Mo Salah 10/3

Sadio Mane 13/2

Riyad Mahrez 8/1

Sebastien Haller 11/1

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