Man City star Riyad Mahrez

Africa Cup of Nations: Algeria to prevail again in Cameroon

Holders Algeria are rated a solid selection to retain their trophy at 7.0 in our outright Africa Cup of Nations predictions.

The Greens were impressive victors in Egypt just under three years ago, when coming out on top for the second time, having previously prevailed as hosts in 1990.

Djamel Belmadi’s side beat Senegal during the group stage and in the final, with the only real scare being when taken to penalties by Ivory Coast at the last-eight stage.

Overall, they claimed six wins and a draw in normal time, scoring 13 goals and conceding only two.

Qualification for this tournament went smoothly, before the finals were delayed a year due to the Covid pandemic, while Algeria are also on course to reach the Qatar World Cup.

Captain Riyad Mahrez is enjoying a stand-out season with Manchester City, scoring in each of his last five appearances to make it 13 goals this term.

Former Leicester striker Islam Slimani, Yacine Brahimi, Youcef Belaili and Baghdad Bounedjah are other experienced front men proven at this level.

Said Benrahma of West Ham and Napoli’s Adam Ounas add to the attacking firepower, with Sofiane Feghouli ready to provide support just in behind.

If Belmadi’s well-drilled defence is again on song, Algeria should cruise through a group featuring Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone before being a tough nut to crack in the knockout rounds.

Check out which European clubs will be affected most by losing players to AFCON 2021 via our great infographic!

Can Lions of Teranga break duck?

Senegal have never managed to lift this trophy but are 5.0 favourites to break that hoodoo in the Africa Cup of Nations odds.

After being game runners-up in 2019, the Lions of Teranga return with a settled side, spearheaded by Liverpool star Sadio Mane.

Watford’s Ismaila Sarr and Keita Balde of Cagliari will assist Mane up front, while Senegal should be very solid at the back.

PSG midfielder Idrissa Gueye and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly provide a strong spine in front of Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy.

Egypt can be backed at 8.0 to add to their record tally of seven triumphs and will prove popular due to the presence of Mohamed Salah.

Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny and Aston Villa’s Trezeguet are other familiar faces in a team managed by former Portugal boss Carlos Queiroz.

Hosts Cameroon came out on top for the fifth time in 2017 but enigmatic Bayern Munich forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting suffered a knee injury in training and they are 9.5.

Ivory Coast do not quite have the stars of their 2015 success but can still call on some useful performers and won’t lack support at 8.5.

Crystal Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha and Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe could feed red-hot Ajax striker Sebastien Haller, who is the top scorer in the Champions League this season.

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly, former Tottenham full-back Serge Aurier and AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie also catch the eye in this squad.

Maxwel Cornet has impressed for Burnley since a summer switch, so 4.33 for Les Elephants to reach the final appeals for our Africa Cup of Nations betting tips.

If Ivory Coast and Algeria fill the top two spots in Group E, they will not meet each other again until possibly clashing in the decider on February 6.

Let’s finish off our Africa Cup of Nations preview by taking Haller to be the leading scorer at 13.0.

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