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African Cup of Nation 2013 Watch

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    It's been nearly a year since an emotionally charged Chipolopolo of Zambia took full advantage of a tournment missing some of the marquee names of African football, and caused a seismic event that shellshocked the whole of Africa (and in particulary a Didier Drogba inspired Ivory Coast) to become the African champions for the first time in their history.

    Now, this 2013 edition is on the horizon and the big boys want their revenge although, the undergoes are unwilling to shift easily as shown by the elimination of Cameroon and Egypt by Cape Verde and Central African Republic respectively in the qualifying stages. Here's to a month full of wonderful, craft aesthetics football full of belligerence tackling, innovative celebrations and most importantly, the return of marmite of football- The vuvuzelas.

    Feel free to join in and voice your opinions, make prediction and decry how the african tournament is incongruous to the european league system and thus ruining your team's season.

    Matches
    Spoiler:
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    Group A

    (Matches to be played in Durban unless stated otherwise)

    19/01/13: South Africa v Cape Verde (1600 in Johannesburg), Angola v Morocco (1900 in Johannesburg)

    23/01/13: South Africa v Angola (1500), Morocco v Cape Verde (1800)

    27/01/13: South Africa v Morocco (1700), Cape Verde v Angola (1700 in Port Elizabeth)

    Group B

    (Matches to be played in Port Elizabeth unless stated otherwise)

    20/01/13: Ghana v DR Congo (1500), Mali v Niger (1800)

    24/01/13: Ghana v Mali 1500, Niger v DR Congo (1800)

    28/01/13: Ghana v Niger (1700), DR Congo v Mali (1700 in Durban)

    Group C

    (Matches to be played in Nelspruit unless stated otherwise)

    21/01/13: Zambia v Ethiopia (1500), Nigeria v Burkina Faso (1800)

    25/01/13: Zambia v Nigeria (1500), Burkina Faso v Ethiopia (1800)

    29/01/13: Zambia v Burkina Faso (1700), Ethiopia v Nigeria (1700 in Rustenburg)

    Group D

    (Matches to be played in Rustenburg unless stated otherwise)

    22/01/13: Ivory Coast v Togo (1500), Tunisia v Algeria (1800)

    26/01/13: Ivory Coast v Tunisia (1500), Algeria v Togo (1800)

    30/01/13: Ivory Coast v Algeria (1700), Togo v Tunisia (1700 in Nelspruit)

    Quarter-finals

    02/02/13: Gp B winners v Gp A runners-up (1500 in Port Elizabeth), Gp A winners v Gp B runners-up (1830 in Durban)

    03/02/13: Gp D winners v Gp C runners-up (1500 in Rustenburg), Gp C winners v Gp D runners-up (1830 in Nelspruit)

    Semi-finals

    06/012/13: Winners quarter-final 2 v winners quarter-final 3 (1500), Winners quarter-final 4 v winners quarter-final 1 (1830 in Nelspruit)

    Third place play-off

    09/02/13: Semi-finals losers (1800 in Port Elizabeth)

    Final

    10/02/13: Semi-finals winners (1800 in Johannesburg)

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    Obviously the likes of Ivory Coast, Ghana and Zambia should be contenders for the crown. My underdogs would be South Africa.
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    (Original post by xxm)
    Obviously the likes of Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ghana and Zambia should be contenders for the crown. My underdogs would be South Africa.
    Corrected.

    Didn't read the OP, did you
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    I reckon one of the Arab countries will win it this year. Algeria in particular has shot up the FIFA rankings to 19th. Only African team higher than them is Ivory Coast. So yeah, formal prediction: Algeria

    1, 2, 3, vive l'Algérie!
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    (Original post by 419)
    Corrected.

    Didn't read the OP, did you
    No. How come they are not in it?
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    (Original post by xxm)
    No. How come they are not in it?
    Got knocked in the early phase of the knockout qualifying system by the mammoth power that is Central African Republic.
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    Can't believe Odemwingie got left out of the Nigeria squad but Nigeria will win the cup
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    Gervinho leaving for the tournament will be like a new signing for Arsenal. Take your time coming back son.
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    Watch out for DR Congo, they're my dark horses for the tournament. They're in a difficult group with Ghana and Mali, but I think on a good day they're capable of shocking Ghana and have more creativity in them then Mali. But Mali are a tough nut to crack, incredibly physical team. DR Congo's first XI will look like this:

    Kidiaba
    Issama Mongongu Zakuani(?) Kasusula
    Mulumbu Makiadi
    Kaluyituka Mputu Kanda
    Mbokani

    Kidiaba, Kasususla, Mputu, Kanda all play for TP Mazembe, the 2009 and 2010 African CL champions and 2012 semi-finalists (they were banned in 2011 for fielding an ineligible player) and Kaluyituka played for Mazembe from 2007-2011 but moved to Al Ahli a year ago. Mulumbu you'll all know about, Makiadi plays for Freiburg and is Mulumbu-esque, very hard-working. Putting a question mark next to Zakuani because Congo's usual CB, Joel Kimwaki, also TP Mazembe, was axed from the squad after consistently turning up late to team meetings. Kasusula is a good full back, very consistent and the GK Kidiaba is absolutely crazy, very good shot-stopper though not so good in the air.

    Only Lionel Messi has scored more goals than Mbokani (also has connections with TP Mazembe) this season, Mbokani has 22, the same number as Cristiano Ronaldo. Of course he's done his work in the Belgian league, but he's scored some peaches in the CL for Anderlecht. Talented player Mbokani, but terrible discipline.

    Mputu is the key man, incredibly talented player, but Deo Kanda is an impish little player, very direct with a lot of flicks and tricks. His goal v Equatorial Guinea in the play-offs:



    To top it all off they're coached by Claude Le Roy, arguably Africa's finest ex-pat coach.

    Will post more of my thoughts later (currently doing the previews for a lot of the teams).
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    (Original post by sevchenko)
    Can't believe Odemwingie got left out of the Nigeria squad but Nigeria will win the cup
    He's honestly not been good for Nigeria since after the qualifying stages for the WC 2010. Don't know what's happend to him as he's been my favourite Nigerian player since he broke into the squad in 2004 (even when we still had Jay Jay and knau) but it seems his ego has been given a massive uplift and Nigeria needs to eschew from such antics. He just seems to want to pick fights with everyone within the NFF (Nigerian FA) and coach (he's fought with the 2 previous coahces). Though the fiht with the NFF is probably justified.

    And tbh, I'd much rather have a front 3 of Emenike (think he should win the top scorer), Moses, Musa :adore:

    Just glad that Ameobi and ****tu have forced themselves out of picked. Why Keshi picked them in the first place beggards belief.

    Edit: :lol: at Danny Shi.ttu's name been asterisked out
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    (Original post by Zürich)
    Gervinho leaving for the tournament will be like a new signing for Arsenal. Take your time coming back son.
    I've got Ivory Coast down to fall quite early in the tournament, so he might not be gone for too long, sadly.
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    Quick heads up that Nigeria are facing Catalonia in about 2 minutes. Xavi, Pique, Puyol, Montoya, Capdevilla, Bojan all playing.
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    Ended 1-1. Plenty of positives to take from Nigeria, grew as the game went on. Oboabona and Onazi very impressive.

    (Original post by 419)
    I've got Ivory Coast down to fall quite early in the tournament, so he might not be gone for too long, sadly.
    How early? Ivory Coast have a fantastic squad, I think they'll make it far again - they usually make to at least the semi-finals. They went unbeaten at the last Afcon without conceding a single goal, and they're unbeaten in their last 22 games in all competitions (gone away to decent sides like Russia, Austria [3-0 win whilst resting Drogba, Y.Toure and other big guns], Morocco, etc). Algeria and Tunisia aren't good enough to stop them imo although they'll be stiff tests.
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    (Original post by Mastermind`)
    Ended 1-1. Plenty of positives to take from Nigeria, grew as the game went on. Oboabona and Onazi very impressive.
    Yes, was pleasantly pleased. Catalonia were always going to have the majority of the play as the gulf in class between the two team is obvious especially given the majority of the names that'll be axed from the Nigerian squad will come the starting XI. But like you said lots of positives though I would've liked to see more from Brown. Bright Dike (Daniel Amokachi has returned :woohoo:) took his goal really well though. Really loving Keshi's management of Nigeria- should've been given the jobs years ago.


    How early? Ivory Coast have a fantastic squad, I think they'll make it far again - they usually make to at least the semi-finals. They went unbeaten at the last Afcon without conceding a single goal, and they're unbeaten in their last 22 games in all competitions (gone away to decent sides like Russia, Austria [3-0 win whilst resting Drogba, Y.Toure and other big guns], Morocco, etc). Algeria and Tunisia aren't good enough to stop them imo although they'll be stiff tests.
    Their run really is impressive and much better than I thought. Have they gone back to their old style of playing or still a defensively solid approach? I expect them to make it out of their group where I've got them to face Nigeria and Zambia (most likely Zambia) and I've just got a sneaky feeling that they'll come up short against either team.
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    I thought the African Cup of Nations was every two years? Seems a bit silly having it every single year.
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    (Original post by SirMasterKey)
    I thought the African Cup of Nations was every two years? Seems a bit silly having it every single year.
    If I've heard correctly it is supposedly every two years. The only reason it's being played again this year is so they can restructure the time period it's played in the future, they should have the next one in 2015, and then proceed from there with 2 year intervals.
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    I want Ivory Coast to win this sooo badly.
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    (Original post by 419)
    Yes, was pleasantly pleased. Catalonia were always going to have the majority of the play as the gulf in class between the two team is obvious especially given the majority of the names that'll be axed from the Nigerian squad will come the starting XI. But like you said lots of positives though I would've liked to see more from Brown. Bright Dike (Daniel Amokachi has returned :woohoo:) took his goal really well though. Really loving Keshi's management of Nigeria- should've been given the jobs years ago.



    Their run really is impressive and much better than I thought. Have they gone back to their old style of playing or still a defensively solid approach? I expect them to make it out of their group where I've got them to face Nigeria and Zambia (most likely Zambia) and I've just got a sneaky feeling that they'll come up short against either team.
    You're right about Keshi, should have been given the job a while ago. Not so sure on his inclusion of so many domestic-based players in the squad as I'm not sure the Nigerian league is good enough based on what I've seen in the African CL, but we'll see. At least the European players have really earned their place.

    As for Ivory Coast, they're managed by Sabri Lamouchi now and have gone back to their old style. Zambia aren't in great form, they were very lucky to make it back - it took penalties v Uganda in a game they were thoroughly outplayed. They lost to my beloved Tanzania a few weeks ago :sexface:, they were pretty much at full strength as well. They'll have to work far harder this time - they were placed in a kind group in the last AfCON, had an easy QF v Sudan and I thought they were a bit fortunate v Ghana.

    (Original post by UnWise)
    I want Ivory Coast to win this sooo badly.
    Am quite neutral on this but I really do like them as a team and it'd be great to see them win it. All very professional, very much like playing for the NT - after all their setbacks it could have been easy to say "**** it!", especially someone like Yaya Toure, but they keep coming back for more.
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    I thought it was quite dodgy that Adel Taarabt wasn't picked by Algeria especially considering how much of a loss he'd be and the stakes at QPR
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    (Original post by Fusion)
    I thought it was quite dodgy that Adel Taarabt wasn't picked by Algeria especially considering how much of a loss he'd be and the stakes at QPR
    You mean Morocco? I thought it was bizarre how Taarabt kept talking of making the squad when he hadn't been picked in any of the squads by their new coach since he took over. If anything, it would have been a surprise if he made it. Morocco are blessed with a lot of talented attacking midfielders - Boussoufa, Belhanda, Assaidi, Amrabat, Barrada, Labyad, Carcela - so competition for places is fierce. Morocco are kind of like the England of Africa, a lot of big names and a lot of them don't perform. Taarabt is one of the biggest non-performers and has stormed out of camps in the past because he's not been picked in starting XIs. The previous coach, Eric Gerets, liked him and gave him several chances but the new coach, Rachid Taoussi has been ruthless. All the disappointing performers and/or those not producing the goods at club level - Taarabt, Boussoufa, Chamakh - have been axed.
 
 
 
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