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Archive for January 2012

2012 African Nations Cup kicks off

The 2012 African Nations Cup being co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon kicks off this weekend with the match between Equatorial Guinea and Libya.

It will the co-hosts' first taste of the tournament as they battle Zambia and also Senegal in Group A.

I think its very hard to look beyond Senegal and Zambia as to who is going to come out of this group.

I think home advantage can carry you so far and the co-host will have to try very hard and to try and not anchor the group.

Let me say that this year's edition seems like a straight fight for the Cup between Ghana and Ivory Coast but if surprises that started from qualifying continue then it could be anyone's Cup.

Those surprises have meant that the likes of Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon and South Africa are all missing.

The last four in that list went to the 2010 World Cup whilst Egypt are the current defending champions.

Turning to group B, Ivory Coast look too strong in that group. Equally it would be hard to separate the next three teams Sudan, Burkina Faso and Angola.

In Group C we have co-hosts Gabon, Tunisia, Morocco and Niger.

I think Gabon have a better chance of reaching the quarters than Eq. Guinea but they will have to navigate a difficult path past Tunisia and Morocco.

Ghana is in group D alongside Botswana, Mali and Guinea.

Its Botswana's first tournament and therefore they will be trying to prove that they are as good as they were in qualification.

Unfortunately for the Southern Africans, they are in arguably the toughest group which also includes Mali and Guinea.

I hope we are going to see some interesting matches and I hope the likes of Niger and Botswana will show everyone how good they are.