LIBREVILLE, Gabon, Sporting Alert – The following are the groups and teams for the 31st staging of the Africa Cup of Nations – Gabon 2017 – which runs from Sunday, January 15, 2017, until Sunday, February 5, 2017.
The 2017 edition will have 16 teams, broken up into four groups of four nations with each team playing each other once in the first round.
CAF OPENING GAMES
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The opening game of the tournament will see host country Gabon taking on Guinea-Bissau and Burkina Faso facing Cameroon in Libreville on Jan. 15.
Defending champion Ivory Coast will play in Group C along with Togo, Congo DR and Morocco.
Ivory Coast, which is one of the favoured teams to win the tournament this year, opens up against Togo on Monday, Jan. 16 before facing Congo DR four days later and closing out the group stage on Jan. 24 against Morocco.
With Nigeria surprisingly not qualifying for the tournament after being knocked out by Egypt, the likes of Senegal, Algeria, Ghana, host nation Gabon and Cameroon are among the early favourites to challenge the Ivory Coast for the title.
Senegal, which will feature the likes of Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, midfielder Mohamed Diame of Newcastle United, Fenerbahce’s Moussa Sow and Everton’s Cheikhou Kouyate will start as the biggest threat to The Elephants, coming in at 6/1 to win the crown.
AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS GROUPS
Meanwhile, Group A will include Gabon, which will be led by Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as well as Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Guinea-Bissau.
Group B will see Senegal, Algeria, Tunisia and Zimbabwe going head-to-head and this is setting up to be one of the closely contest groups this year.
Group D is made up of Egypt, Ghana, Mali and Uganda with action in this section starting on Tuesday, Jan. 17.
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the quarterfinal stage, which gets going on Jan. 28.
Complete 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Groups