🌍 🏆 AFCON 2019: Futaa assesses the four semifinalists and their title chances
It's crunch time in Egypt as only four sides remain. Can Senegal claim their maiden AFCON crown or will the Desert Foxes be cunning enough?
Futaa assesses the final four.
Senegal 🇸🇳 🦁
Senegal's Lions of Teranga are the side looking to break their AFCON duck and they have the attacking weapons to get them to the final.
Sadio Mane is one of the best-attacking footballers in the world, but Senegal also boasts top quality players throughout the spine of their team, namely Kalidou Koulibaly and Idrissa Gueye. Their depth in attacking areas is also impressive with the varied threats of pacey wide men and target strikers Keita Balde. Idrissa Gueye remains a vastly underrated midfield general who allows the front men to express themselves.
Failed their one major test of the tournament so far, going down 1-0 to Algeria in the groups. If they meet again in the final, it remains to be seen whether that plays a psychological role in Senegal's approach.
Should squeeze into the final and fall to Algeria there.
Tunisia 🇹🇳 🦅
The 2004 champions are FIFA's second-highest ranked side left in the tournament and they're starting to peak at the right time.
Tunisia has improved vastly as the tournament has gone on after struggling initially. They only scored two goals in their first four matches and needed penalties to dispatch Ghana in the round of 16. Their 3-0 win over Madagascar will be a massive tonic, as will be the return to fitness of star man Wahbi Khazri.
The Eagles of Carthage don't boast a host of household names and they might also be short on depth in key areas. Outside of Khazri, it's hard to see where the creativity will come from.
Will push Senegal all the way in the semifinals but that's as far as they'll go.
Algeria 🇩🇿 🦊
Desert Foxes aiming to end a 29-year drought at AFCON and appear to be the most complete side in the last four.
The North African side will be confident of their chances of lifting the trophy on Egyptian soil, not far from their home. They are the tournament's top scorers and boast the meanest defence, having finally conceded their first goal to Ivory Coast in the quarterfinals. They look like the total package and they have Riyad Mahrez, one of the best players left in the tournament. Napoli winger Adam Ounas is a dangerous option off the bench, he's the joint-top scorer in the tournament despite the fact that he has yet to start a game.
Algeria's poor run in the tournament this millennium and at the back end of the last is hard to explain. Their last win came in 1990 and their best performance since was a semifinal appearance in 2010. These mental demons will be difficult to put to rest after elimination at the group stages in two of the last four editions of AFCON.
Will lift the trophy on 19 July if they keep their nerve.
Nigeria 🇳🇬 🦅
The Super Eagles have won the title three times and a fourth crown isn't out of their grasp, but an Algerian brick wall stands in their way.
Their 3-2 elimination of defending champions Cameroon followed up by a 2-1 win over South Africa means that they have what it takes to claim big scalps. Ahmed Musa & Alex Iwobi provide pace and creativity to supply chances for Odion Ighalo, a reliable goal-scorer at this level. In midfield, Wilfred Ndidi is masterful at breaking down attacks and then starting them for his team.
Defensively, Nigeria has the tendency to switch off at set-piece and against counter-attacks. Algeria's mastery from dead-ball situations and pace in transitions can hurt them.
An inability to keep clean sheets will see them lose to Algeria in the semifinals.
Who are you expecting to win the title?