Posted on January 18th, 2013
It may feel like the Africa Cup of Nations has just finished but due to the rescheduling of the tournament it is yet again that time of year. Below is a brief preview of what’s to come.
The hosts, South Africa, should have a relatively straight forward group and are the team most likely to top it. They have a 22% chance of being knocked out at this early stage. The second team to qualify from Group A is slightly more up for grabs with Morocco on a 56% chance, ACN debutantes Cape Verde on 37% and Angola on 29%.
Ghana should qualify with ease from this group with an 83% chance of progression. Mali is likely to finish second with a 71% chance of progress. DR Congo and Niger are the outside contenders for the competition with only a 30% and a 17% chance respectively of making it out of the group.
Nigeria should qualify with ease with an 88% chance of progression to the next round. The cup -holders, Zambia, may find it more difficult to progress with a 56% chance. Their main rivals in the group are Burkina Faso, who have a 44% chance of progression. Ethiopia haven’t competed in the ACN in 31 years and it seems unlikely that they will do very well with only a 14% chance of progression.
Ivory Coast face something of a walkover with an 87% chance of progression. The interesting thing to watch out for in this group will be the race for second place between Tunisia and Algeria. Tunisia are slightly ahead with a 54% chance of progression to Algeria’s 50%.
Ivory Coast are yet again the favourites with a 28% chance of winning. Nigeria has a 16% chance and South Africa and Ghana both have a 15% chance. Alternatively, there is a 27% chance of the winner not being one of the big 4. Expect surprises!
The graph below shows the Dectech team strengths for Africa. Darker shading indicates a stronger team. The ACN teams are labelled (except for Cape Verde as it doesn’t show up on a map of this scale).
The gap between Ivory Coast and every other team is clearly shown in the graphic. Only South Africa looks likely to beat the West African domination of African football.