The African Nations Cup is here and the quality of African football gets better and better, more and more players now play in the premiership.
The is a huge Premiership contingent of players who will leave their clubs and make the trip to Africa to take part. Ghana head the running with the bookmakers at a shortish looking 5/1 due to the fact that they include Chelsea’s Michael Essien and Portsmouth’s Sulley Muntari in their team.
Nigeria look a nice bet at 7/1 as they include Martins, Yobo, Obi Mikel, Yakubu, Kanu, Etuhu and John Utaka while Ivory Coast possess players of the calibre of Eboué, the Touré brothers, Zokora and the not 100% Didier Drogba.
Ivory Coast & Cameroon are hot on their tails at 6/1 a piece, while those looking for some value may like the look of South Africa at 20/1 with Bluesq.
One other team we like the look of is Mali at 18/1.
They have a pretty difficult group with the Ivory Coast and Nigeria but they have great players in key positions with Madrid’s Diarra, Liverpool’s Sissoko and Sevilla’s Fredi Kanoute.
If they can progress out of the ‘group of death’ they have a great chance at a nice price
The 2010 World Cup hosts will be watched by their new coach Carlos Alberto Parreira but the Brazilian does not take up the reigns formally until next January. The team is being trained by caretaker coach Pitso Mosimane.
Senegal play a first competitive match under their new coach Henri Kasperczak when they host Mozambique in Dakar on Saturday.
Tunisia have named an experimental team for the trip to Mauritius in a Group Four match while Angola, who also played in the World Cup in June, have a familiar look about their side.
They have a tricky away tie in Group Six against Swaziland.
Togo, who despite upheavals and disagreements at the World Cup, have retained German Otto Pfister as their coach, host neighbours Benin in their first home match since last September.
Only Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe have the weekend off, while Ghana qualify for the next tournament as hosts.
African Nations Cup – Last 10 Winners
2006 Egypt Egypt
2004 Tunisia Tunisia
2002 Mali Cameroon
2000 Ghana & Nigeria Cameroon
1998 Burkina Faso Egypt
1996 South Africa South Africa
1994 Tunisia Nigeria
1992 Senegal Ivory Coast
1990 Algeria Algeria
1988 Morocco Cameroon