Across Europe, major international soccer teams are deep into their preparations for Euro 2024 in Germany. With the likes of Spain, Italy, and England in action, there’s plenty to keep soccer lovers glued to their screens, making predictions. The top apps offering online sports betting in Oklahoma have France as their favorite and most likely champion. But the host nation is a threat and must be respected when making predictions.
Euro 2024 is one of soccer fans’ many interests this summer, with the African Cup of Nations fast approaching. The most talented teams from across the continent are gearing up for their opening game as coaches plan how to win the trophy currently in possession of 2021 winners Senegal. But which contender will get its wish, or will we see the champions successfully defend?
This article aims to arm our readers with the information that matters most regarding AFCON. We bring you the host nation and the teams expected to challenge for the trophy. There are dates for your diary, predictions, and betting news. By the end of this page, you’ll have the information needed to make a strong and well-researched prediction of the tournament’s outcome.
What, Where, and When?
Senegal won the African Cup of Nations for the first time in 2021, but do they have what it takes to enter the history books by making it two in a row? They have every chance, but arriving as defending champions brings high pressures and expectations. When they were a contender, Senegal had fewer demands, but now they are the champions; the heat is on.
The African Cup of Nations will be in the Ivory Coast between 13th January and 11th February 2024. Organizers made an enforced late change of plan regarding the host nation and the dates after suffering several high-profile setbacks. Eventually, the Ivory Coast stepped in to save the day when selected to host this tournament for the second time, the first since 1984.
That led to a date change, with games moved from the summer to winter months. In a similar situation to what we saw at the World Cup 2022 in Qatar, fixtures were pushed back to accommodate the hot summer temperatures of the host nation during the summer months. At this time of year, outdoor professional sport is almost impossible in the Ivory Coast, and AFCON couldn’t escape the weather.
Moving games to December didn’t work out too well for fans of the FIFA World Cup, but it did mean games were in a more relaxing and safe environment. It leads to fewer injuries for players, coaches, officials, and fans. And it gave us some fantastic soccer games with plenty of goals and even more talking points. A delayed start to AFCON 2023 will have the same positive impact on the schedule.
Top Teams to Follow
Which team will hold the African Cup of Nations 2023 in February next year? There are many strong claims to the throne, including from Senegal, who want to move from their first title to their second quickly. If they were to land back-to-back winner’s medals, this Senegalese team would be remembered as the best that ever lived. And they’d deserve that honor too.
Senegal beat Egypt in the final last February, with the eventual champions springing a huge surprise. Egypt entered that game as the red-hot favorites with all major soccer betting apps, but Senegal had the last laugh. The game finished goalless after 90 minutes and extra time, meaning penalties were required to crown a champion.
Senegal held their nerve from the spot to win 4-2, scoring all but one of their attempts. Egypt missed out after failing to convert half of their four shots. That was a gripping final, and neutrals would love to see something similar in February 2024.
If not two-in-a-row, then where will the champion come from? Algeria must be respected with Manchester City’s Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League winner Riyad Mahrez in the frame. He will be one of the biggest names in the competition and the pressure will be on Mahrez to deliver. He carries the hopes of the nation on his shoulders.