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Africa Cup of Nations

Which is the Afcon Group of Death based on Fifa world rankings?

11:01 IST 09/01/2022
Kelechi Iheanacho
Which teams have the easiest route to the knockouts, and who has the toughest road to glory at the Nations Cup?

  • Diedhiou, Senegal

    Group B

    Based on the Fifa world rankings, Senegal’s group is the ‘Group of Life’ at the Nations Cup.

    While Senegal, ranked 20th in the world, are the top ranked team in the tournament, their nearest first round rivals—Guinea—are down in 81st place.

    After them, the two ‘minnows’ in the group, Zimbabwe and Malawi, are outside the top 120 in the Fifa rankings, suggesting that they will struggle to contain Sadio Mane and co.

    However, the Warriors and the Flames both have an opportunity to progress, if they can win their Cosafa derby.

  • Hannibal Mejbri Tunisia

    Group F

    On paper, Group F looks to be the Group of Life, with arguably no outstanding giant.

    Tunisia showed their vulnerabilities against Equatorial Guinea in 2021, but, ranked 30th in the world, should fancy their chances of advancing.

    Mali may just be outside the top 50 in the world, but they will represent stern opponents for the Carthage Eagles, and are capable of topping the group.

    Mauritania are just outside the world’s top 100, and while The Gambia are 150th in the world—the lowest ranked team—they’ve proved themselves capable of a surprise or two.

  • Christian Bassogog Cameroon

    Group A

    Cameroon’s group is one of the easier three pools, but the Indomitable Lions won’t have a straightforward road to the knockouts.

    Burkina Faso, ranked 60th in the world, are among the weaker ‘second’ teams in each group, but it’s the presence of Cape Verde (73rd)—the strongest third-ranked team in any group—that might make things complicated.

    Ethiopia, ranked 137th, are expected to bring up the rear.

  • Ahmed Fattoh - egypt - qatar - arab cup 2021

    Group D

    Group D looks to be the most clear cut of the six groups in terms of the identity of the top two, with Nigeria (36) and Egypt (45) both a few notches above their nearest rivals.

    Egypt are the top ranked ‘second’ team in any group—a tough challenge for Nigeria in their opener—while Guinea-Bissau and Sudan are outside the top 100 in the world.

  • Ethiopia team v Sierra Leone.

    Group E

    As the only group of the six without any team outside the world’s top 115, Group E is arguably the pool where there is ‘no easy match’.

    Certainly, Equatorial Guinea—ranked 114th—will be no pushovers, and proved their own mettle during a successful 2021 in which they pushed Tunisia close for World Cup progression.

    Ahead of them, Sierra Leone (108th) troubled Nigeria and Benin last year, while Ivory Coast (56) and Algeria (29) are former winners who harbour realistic title ambitions.

  • Abdul Fatawu Issahaku Ghana

    Group C

    Look away now Ghana fans, the Fifa world rankings suggest that the Black Stars have the toughest of all of the six Nations Cup groups.

    The West Africans are genuine contenders themselves—ranked 52nd in the world—but must overcome Morocco, who are one of three Afcon teams inside the top 30 in the world rankings.

    Behind them, Gabon in 89th are the second toughest ‘third’ team in the group—only Cape Verde in Group A are higher ranked—and poor Comoros, the third lowest ranked team in the tournament, will have their work cut out to take points in this pool.