Egypt captain Mohamed Salah, who scored four goals in the 6-0 rout of Djibouti, carries the hopes of his country at the Afcon.
(Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
For the first time since they won the last of their record seven Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) titles, Egypt will step into the tournament with all the key ingredients needed to be African champions and without the emotional baggage of having to win at all costs.
This tournament is one of the most open in recent history, with Morocco coach Walid Regragui saying, “at least 10 teams can win the Afcon”. The Atlas Lions are the strong favourites after their good showing at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where they became the first African team to reach the semi-finals.
The hosts Ivory Coast, three-time champions Nigeria, Ghana, reigning champions Senegal, Cameroon, Algeria, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, and of course, Egypt, could all win the tournament. Mali, Bafana Bafana, Guinea and Zambia are the dark horses.
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