In the run-up to the African Cup of Nations Football tournament to be held in Equatorial Guinea, Sahara Sports 101 will be profiling the teams that made it. Unfortunately defending champions Nigeria failed to qualify making some pundits suggest that some amount of glitz will be lost in the tourney. However, other glamorous sides like Ghana, The Ivory Coast, Mali and Tunisia will be there.
After a period of haggling over hosting, Equatorial Guinea agreed to take the responsibility from Morocco, who had shirked it on the grounds of safeguarding its citizens against a possible entry of the Ebola virus. This earned Equatorial Guinea an automatic place.
So, swords drawn; so are the battle-lines! In Group A, hosts Equatorial Guinea, Burkina Faso, Congo and Gabon will be fighting for the 2 slots to qualify for the next stage.
|TEAM||FIFA WORLD RANKING||CONTINENTAL RANKING||WILD CARD||ANALYST NOTES|
|119||37||Jonatas Obina||Poorly-placed in FIFA rankings, but will be eager to please home crowd|
|Burkina Faso||65||18||Jonathan Pitroipa||Features in-form players, Aristide Bance, Bakary Kone and others|
|Congo||59||13||Thievy Bifouma||Best FIFA-ranked in group|
|Gabon||64||17||Bonaventure Sokambi||Featuring a squad mostly made up of home-grown club players|
Additional Notes From Your Sports Analyst, Kwesi Baako
My favorites in Group A are Burkina Faso and Congo ahead of a better-placed Gabon. However, I would love to see the hosts at least make it to the next stage as an early exit may dampen the spirits of the spectators. I will also not kick myself if Gabon jets out to take a slot.
Soon, I will be previewing Group B where Cape Verde, DR Congo, Tunisia and Zambia will be battling it out. The count down to AFCON 2015 is underway and so stay tuned for previews of the remaining groups in AFCON 2015.
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