A new edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is around the corner, and before you enjoy all the games LIVE across our network, let's talk about the favorites and challengers.
This will be the 33rd edition of the tournament, being played in Cameroon across four cities starting on Sunday, January 9th to the final on Sunday, February 6th. The last tournament was won by Algeria, in a tight win 1-0 against Senegal in 2019.
Some very good teams with great players who are stars in their domestic teams will light up this tournament, but the leading favorites are current champions Algeria. The Fennec Foxes arguably have the more complete squad, including players like Rami Bensebaini, Sofiane Feghouli. Said Benrahma, and of course Riyad Mahrez). Senegal is a very stable team that surely will try to win the tournament this time around, led by Sadio Mané and Idrissa Gueye.
One step below, we have more teams from the north of the continent like Morocco (with Achraf Hakimi and Sofiane Boufal) and Egypt with the legendary Mohamed Salah, arguably the best player in the world right here, right now.
Nigeria is usually a contender but most of their squad is around 25-years-old, like Wilfred Ndidi and Alex Iwobi, with Ahmed Musa as the only outfield player over 30 years old, making this Nigerian team one of the most unexperienced leading to a big tournament.
These teams are not short of talent. Probably the most in-form striker in the Premier League, Mo Salah, will try to help Egypt to win the tournament, PSG key players like Gueye (Senegal) and Hakimi (Morocco) will be part of their respective squads.
Karl Toto- Ekambi, who's having a great season with Lyon, is one of the main names for the hosts, Cameroon. Joining Gueye in Senegal we have Sadio Mané and Chelsea's goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. Frank Kessié, Nicolas Pépé, and Wilfried Zaha are the key names on an unpredictable Ivory Coast while Arsenal outcast Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will lead Gabon.
The young ones to watch
Africa never disappoints when it comes to great young talent. Cameroon's Jean Onana (Angers), Senegal's Bamba Dieng (Marseille), Villareal's Chukwueze (Nigeria), Manchester United's Hannibal Mejri (Tunisia), and Clermont's Bayo (Guinea) might be the ones bringing that extra bit of flair and youth to their teams and be key in their performances.
Where to watch?
You can enjoy the whole tournament, LIVE on beIN SPORTS channels, starting January 9 when the hosts Cameroon face Burkina Faso at 11 AM ET, on beIN SPORTS XTRA. You can also catch some exciting matches like Morocco against Ghana (Monday 10, 11 AM ET on beIN SPORTS XTRA), Nigeria against Egypt (Tuesday 11, 11 AM ET on beIN SPORTS).