All eyes will be on the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in January as 24 teams battle to be crowned as kings of the continent.
The delayed tournament is scheduled to take place from January 9 to February 6, 2022, and will be fiercely contested.
Defending champions Algeria are amongst the favourites to retain the trophy, but plenty of other teams have a genuine chance of knocking them off their perch.
Algeria defeated Senegal 1-0 in the 2019 final to secure their first success in the prestigious tournament since 1990.
Egypt hold the record for the most AFCON wins with seven, with Cameroon (five) and Ghana (four) rounding off the top three (see the full list of Africa Cup of Nations winners).
Read on as we provide you with a comprehensive guide to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Africa Cup of Nations Host
Cameroon will stage the tournament in six stadiums across five cities. The opening match and the final are scheduled to take place at the newly built 60,000 seater Olembe Stadium in Yaounde.
Africa Cup of Nations 2021 Schedule
The opening phase of the tournament features six groups of four teams, with the top two in each section progressing to the round of 16 alongside the best four third-placed teams.
The AFCON group stage is a single round-robin, with the knockout rounds played as single-elimination matches.
The knockout stage features the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, a third-place play-off and the final.
The draw and opening phase schedule is as follows:
Group A: Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde
- Cameroon vs Burkina Faso – January 9
- Ethiopia vs Cape Verde – January 9
- Cameroon vs Ethiopia – January 13
- Cape Verde vs Burkina Faso – January 13
- Cape Verde vs Cameroon – January 17
- Burkina Faso vs Ethiopia – January 17
Group B: Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Malawi
- Senegal vs Zimbabwe – January 10
- Guinea vs Malawi – January 10
- Senegal vs Guinea – January 14
- Malawi vs Zimbabwe – January 14
- Malawi vs Senegal – January 18
- Zimbabwe vs Guinea – January 18
Group C: Morocco, Ghana, Comoros, Gabon
- Morocco vs Ghana – January 10
- Comoros vs Gabon – January 10
- Morocco vs Comoros – January 14
- Gabon vs Ghana – January 14
- Gabon vs Morocco – January 18
- Ghana vs Comoros – January 18
Group D: Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau
- Nigeria vs Egypt – January 11
- Sudan vs Guinea-Bissau – January 11
- Nigeria vs Sudan – January 15
- Guinea-Bissau vs Egypt – January 15
- Guinea-Bissau vs Nigeria – January 19
- Egypt vs Sudan – January 19
Group E: Algeria, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast
- Algeria vs Sierra Leone – January 11
- Equatorial Guinea – Ivory Coast – January 12
- Ivory Coast vs Sierra Leone – January 16
- Algeria vs Equatorial Guinea – January 16
- Ivory Coast vs Algeria – January 20
- Sierra Leone vs Equatorial Guinea – January 20
Group F: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia
- Tunisia vs Mali – January 12
- Mauritania vs Gambia – January 12
- Gambia vs Mali – January 16
- Tunisia vs Mauritania – January 16
- Gambia vs Tunisia – January 20
- Mali vs Mauritania – January 20
Africa Cup of Nations 2021 – Knockout Stage
- Round of 16 – January 23-25
- Quarter-finals – January 29-30
- Semi-finals – February 2-3
- Third-place play-off – February 6
- Final – February 6
Africa Cup of Nations 2021 Odds
Egypt are the favourites to win the tournament for the eighth time. Here are the ante-post odds:
- Egypt – 9/2
- Ghana – 13/2
- Senegal – 7/1
- Ivory Coast – 8/1
- Nigeria – 9/1
- Morocco – 11/1
- Algeria – 12/1
- Cameroon – 12/1
- Mali – 14/1
- Tunisia – 14/1
- Others – 16/1+
Africa Cup of Nations 2021 Predictions
Much like many other major international tournaments, the best teams are usually in the thick of things when the medals are being handed out at the AFCON.
A quick look at the roll of honour during the 21st century tells its own story, with Zambia’s success in 2012 the only surprising result.
Egypt lifted the trophy three consecutive times between 2006 and 2010, but they have reached the final just once in five attempts since then.
Their position as favourites in the betting is primarily based on the fact that Mohamed Salah is in their line-up, and there is better value to be had elsewhere.
Ghana will fancy their chances of success after an impressive qualifying campaign, but they haven’t won the AFCON since 1982 and look too short in the betting.
Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Morocco and Algeria could all be dangerous, but the value bet is third favourites Senegal.
Alou Cisse’s side were unbeaten during the qualifiers, conceding just two goals to finish comfortably clear of Guinea-Bissau and Congo in Group I.
With Premier League stars Edouard Mendy and Sadio Mane leading a strong-looking squad, Senegal are fancied to finally break their duck at the AFCON.
Africa Cup of Nations 2021 Live Streaming
Many broadcasters around the world will offer live online streaming of Africa Cup of Nations games throughout the tournament.
Sky Sports will broadcast all 52 matches live in the United Kingdom, while the BBC has secured the rights to screen ten live games.
Numerous other live football streaming websites allow you to stream live Africa Cup of Nations matches from across the planet.
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