What you should know about the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations

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Anticipation builds as the biggest football competition on the African continent, the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 is expected to take place in Ivory Coast.

The tournament is a biennial football tournament involving 24 of the best international teams on the African continent facing off against each other with the best team lifting the coveted AFCON trophy.

Tournament context

The AFCON 2023 is the 34th edition of the competition. The opening match is scheduled for January 13, 2023, where the host Ivory Coast will face Guinea-Bissau at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

The Ivory Coast is hosting the competition for the second time in the history of the month-long competition expected to end on February 11, 2024, after hosting for the first time in 1984.

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The Ivorians are set to host the tournament

Tournament favourites

Egypt, the record holders of the competition with seven titles have made the finals in two out of the last three editions and also boast arguably the greatest footballer on the African continent in Mohammed Salah.

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The Egyptian King would look to deliver the goods at this year's AFCON

Nigeria will also look to secure their fourth title after their last triumph in 2023. The chances of the Super Eagles have also been boosted by the emergence of marksman Victor Osimhen as the best player on the African continent after he was awarded as the best footballer at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards 2023.

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Osimhen is one to watch at the tournament

Other tournament favourites include Senegal, the current champions, winners of the 2019 competition Algeria and Morocco, fresh from a historic World Cup semi-final and tournament host Ivory Coast.

Tournament underdogs

Sleeping giant the Black Stars of Ghana will be looking to redeem themselves in the competition after failing to make it past the group stages in the previous edition of the tournament. The four-time winner is also buoyed by the inimitable Mohammed Kudus.

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Mo Kudus would look to continue his scintillating form at the tournament

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon is also another nation with history in the competition after going against the odds to defeat a heavily favoured Egyptian side in the finals in 2017. The Central African nation will be spearheaded by the top goal scorer of the AFCON 2021 edition Vincent Aboubakar.

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Vincent Aboubakar was the top scorer of the previous AFCON tournament

2013 darkhorse and finalist Burkina Faso and surprise 2012 winner Zambia will also be looking to cause major upsets in the tournament.

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