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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: Predicting all eight Nations Cup quarter-finalists

8:38 PM IST 23/01/22
Iwobi, Iheanacho
Ed Dove reveals his predictions for the Afcon Round of 16

  • Morocco Afcon 2021.

    Morocco

    Haven’t exactly clicked going forward, but Morocco still have room to grow in this tournament and Vahid Halilhodzic knows what he’s doing when it comes to knockout football.

    If the Atlas Lions can get the likes of Ayoub El Kaabi and Youssef En-Nesyri performing, then they can go the distance, but either way, they should have too much for Malawi.

  • Max Gradel and Nicolas Pepe of Ivory Coast.

    Ivory Coast

    On paper, Ivory Coast vs Egypt should be a fantastic clash between two of Africa’s genuine heavyweights.

    However, while the Pharaohs can call upon Mohamed Salah, they don’t have anything like the depth or the variety of options going forward as the Elephants, who also boast the best defence in the tournament.

  • Vincent Aboubakar of Cameroon celebrates 2nd goal during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

    Cameroon

    Even with three goalkeepers available, Comoros would have their work cut out to progress past hosts Cameroon into the quarter-finals.

    With no goalkeepers available, it’s unthinkable that they’ll progress past the Indomitable Lions.

  • Gambia Afcon 2022

    The Gambia

    I’m going for a shock here, and tipping Gambia to advance past Guinea.

    The Scorpions—for me—have been the most impressive ‘surprise package’ of the tournament, defeating Tunisia and Mauritania, and holding Mali in their group campaign.

    Guinea have struggled to get out of first gear so far, even losing to Zimbabwe in their final group game. The loss of Naby Keita through suspension is a major blow for a team lacking creativity.

  • Equatorial Guinea 2022 Afcon

    Equatorial Guinea

    I’m going for another surprise result here. Even though Mali are looking strong, they’re lacking a bit of a cutting edge up top, with three of their four group-stage goals coming from the penalty spot.

    Equatorial Guinea, by contrast, were unfortunate to lose to Ivory Coast in their opener, and have secured back-to-back victories since (against Algeria and Sierra Leone).

    Their technical and physical qualities make them a compelling prospect.

  • Mané Senegal

    Senegal

    Unimpressive so far—partly due to two 14h kick-offs—but there’s a sense that Senegal still have room to grow in this tournament.

    They must not underestimate Cape Verde in the derby between the two sides—look at how the islanders bounced back against Cameroon—but the Teranga Lions have more than enough to advance.

  • Wilfred Ndidi - Nigeria

    Nigeria

    Three wins out of three so far, Nigeria romped through the group stage, and are hot favourites to see off Tunisia.

    The Carthage Eagles, by contrast, have had a troubled group stage, and after losing against Gambia in their final group game, expect confidence to be low heading into this one.

  • Achraf Hakimi, Jim Allevinah, Gabon vs Morocco, January 2021

    Gabon

    They’ve coped admirably with the whole Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang-Mario Lemina saga, and proved against Ghana and Morocco that—even without their stars—they can go toe to toe with the big boys.

    The likes of Denis Bouanga, Jim Allevinah and Aaron Boupendza still give them a cutting edge despite the absentees.