AFCON Group D: How will Ivory Coast pan out with Morocco, Namibia and South Africa in Africa’s continental showpiece?
Afcon kicks off as of Friday, June 21 and Futaa takes a look exclusively at how Group D will fare as all teams look to reach the knockout stages.
Ivory Coast 🇨🇮
The Elephants have been drawn in arguably the most intriguing group and the side will go in with a boost of confidence after their 3-1 victory over Comoros in a warm-up match ahead of the competition. The squad will include the anticipated breakout player Nicolas Pepe in addition to Crystal Palace winger Wilfred Zaha while Inter Milan midfielder Franck Kessie will look to make the difference in coach Ibrahim Kimara’s 23-man squad.
- Prediction: 2nd
- CAF ranking: 10
- Afcon appearances:23 (first in 1965)
- Key man: Wilfred Zaha
Morocco is another interesting African team to look out for with head coach Herve Renard who has lifted the coveted title twice with Ivory Coast and Zambia. They will look to be unstoppable with Ajax Amsterdam’s Hakim Ziyech leading the pack. Loyalty and dedication will keep Morocco in the running, however, their style of play may not be suitable for Egypt’s weather conditions. Nonetheless, Morocco go into Group D with an organised team which will be ideal for this competition.
- Prediction: 1st
- CAF ranking: 4
- Afcon appearances: 17 (first in 1972)
- Key man: Hakim Ziyech
Namibia has been tipped as the team that may struggle in the tournament considering the Group they have been drawn in – needless to say, they can come out as the underdogs. The Brave Warriors are seen as rank outsiders having finished second behind Guinea in Group K qualifiers enduring a tough challenge over Mozambique and Zambia. Ricardo Manetti will look to prove a point with his side when they take on Morocco in their first game and hope for a victory thereafter when they go head to head against South Africa.
- Prediction: 4th
- CAF ranking: 28
- Afcon appearances: 3 (first since 1998)
- Key man: Ryan Nyambe
South Africa 🇿🇦
Bafana Bafana became the 24th and last country to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after a 2-1 victory over Libya in the qualifying fixtures. However, Group D has officially been tipped as the Group of Death. Head coach Stuart Baxter has called up a squad similar to the one that inspired the qualification the to the tournament but will the team be able to overcome the group stages and prove the critics wrong? Bafana Bafana boasts veterans like Thulani Hlatshwayo, Dean Furman, Tiyani Mabunda, Sibusiso Vilakazi to name a few and Baxter will look to the experience of Europe-based players to make the difference in the squad. Monday, June 24 will see South Africa take on Ivory Coast in the first game before taking on neighbours, Namibia thereafter.
- Prediction: 3rd
- CAF ranking: 14
- Afcon appearances: 9 (first in 1996)
- Key man: Hlompho Kekana
Fixture dates & times 🗓
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