The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is the 32nd edition of Africa’s biennial international men’s football tournament. This year’s competition will be hosted by Egypt and will run from June 21, 2019, to July 19, 2019.
Cameroon is the defending champions, having defeated Egypt 2-1 in the final of the 2017 AFCON in Gabon. Cameroon was supposed to be the hosts this year but due to several reasons, they were stripped of the hosting rights and Egypt took over. Now, the Pharaohs have the opportunity to redeem themselves at home and win their first AFCON since 2010.
Egypt is the odds-on favorite to win at home. But a field of equally worthy challengers surrounds them in this year’s competition. Here are the odds to win the Africa Cup of Nations 2019. Odds were taken from Bookmaker.eu as of 6/18/19:
Who Are The Favorites?
Egypt is the most successful country in this tournament since its inception in 1957, having won the title a total of seven times. They finished second in the last Africa Cup of Nations tournament and have an impressive record when playing at home. That is why as the hosts of this year’s tournament, they are considered as soccer betting favorites to win it all. The Pharaohs also boasts of a talisman in Mohamed Salah who is in peak form after an impressive Premier League season where he finished as the co-top goal scorer and helped lead Liverpool to the UEFA Champions League title.
Senegal, like Egypt, has a star talisman in Sadio Mane. The Liverpool star earned a share of the Golden Boot after scoring 22 goals in Premier League play this past season. Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly will be the key man on defense for the Lions of Teranga. This will be their 15th appearance in the AFCON and their best finish was second place in 2002.
Ghana is best remembered as the darlings of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but they’ve not made the headlines as of late and missed out on the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Despite that, they are still among the favorites in this year’s AFCON mainly because of “Baby G” Asamoah Gyan who despite being already 33-years old, can still find the back of the net these days. Ghana has won this tournament four times before but they have not hoisted the cup since 1982.
Morocco has a strong squad that includes Romain Saïss, Achraf Hakimi, Medhi Benatia, Sofiane Boufal, Younès Belhanda, and Hakim Ziyech. Morocco made the World Cup last year for the first time in over 20 years and although their World Cup campaign ended in disappointment, they have recovered and went unbeaten during AFCON qualifying games.
Nigeria also has world-level players like Arsenal`s Alex Iwobi and Leicester City`s Wilfred Ndidi on their side. They are making their first appearance at the AFCON since 2013 when they won the tournament ( their third AFCON title ). Nigeria has not lost a match since the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Ivory Coast‘s “golden generation” has passed and they last tasted victory in 2015. But although a lot has changed since then, this is a squad that still has plenty of quality. Names like Wilfried Zaha, Eric Bailly, Max Gradel, Serge Aurier, Jean Michael Seri, Franck Kessie, and Jonathan Kodjia are just some that come on top of mind.
Egypt has plenty of things going for them. As hosts, they have the advantage of playing at home. They also have plenty of talent and a wealth of experience on their side. They also have the biggest star of the tournament in Mohamed Salah. No one player can win it all for any team. But having a talisman like Salah gives the rest of the team plenty of confidence in every game.
The Pharaohs head to this tournament with a record of 6 wins, 2 draws and just one loss in their last nine games. They have won their last two matches by allowing just one goal while scoring four. Their loss during this period was a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Nigeria, which is always a tough squad and one of the favorites in this competition too.
Egypt’s squad is also healthy and has no player suspensions. And it’s also worth noting that the last AFCON tournaments hosted by North African countries were won by the hosts- Tunisia in 2004 and Egypt in 2006. No matter how you look at it, this is a side that has almost everything going for them right now. They are favorites for a reason and that’s why I’m picking Egypt to win the Africa Cup of Nations 2019. Prediction: Egypt.