AFCON Group D preview: The Group of Death awaits Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa & Namibia
AFCON Group D preview: The Group of Death awaits Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa & Namibia
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AFCON Group D preview: The Group of Death awaits Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa & Namibia

​AFCON Group D: The Group of Death as it has been deemed. Who will come out top of the group and who will be packing their bags back to their native countries?

The Atlas Lions will host The Elephants at the Al Salam Stadium while South Africa will welcome neighbours at the same venue later in the evening. Will Bafana sink or swim or will the underdogs prove that they have what it takes to qualify to Round of 16. 

Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Morocco

Morocco had luck on their side when they manage to forge a win through an OG from Namibia's Itamunua Keimuine. Needless to say, the Atlas Lions are second on the Group D table and they could cause an upset when they host Ivory Coast at the Al Salam Stadium. Herve Renard could start Ajax Amsterdam's Hakim Ziyech although he had some questionable moments, he will still be needed to be a threat to the opposition. 

  • Prediction: 1st
  • CAF ranking: 4
  • Afcon appearances: 17
  • Key man: ​Hakim Ziyech, Youssef En-Nesyri

Ivory Coast 

Ivory Coast will be expected to put on a fight as they look to show their strength against Morocco. The Elephants come into this fixture with a morale boost from their 1-0 victory against South Africa through Aston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia. Ivory Coast have only lost one of their four games against the opposition two years ago, and today may be their chance to win their fifth. 

  • Prediction: 2nd
  • CAF ranking: 10
  • Afcon appearances: 23 
  • Key man: Nicolas Pepe

Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

South Africa

Bafana Bafana are going into a 'must-win' game against Namibia if they are to progress to the Round of 16. Percy Tau and Lebo Mothiba will have to improve on their action upfront if they are picked in the starting XI. Themba Zwane and Lebohang Maboe who are the playmakers are tasked with collecting the ball from Kamohelo Mokotjo and Dean Furman - however - the latter has been sidelined with an injury which will mean Hlompho Kekana may be given the opportunity to use his extensive experience to make the difference. Bidvest Wits trio Sifiso Hlanti, Buhle Mkhwanazi and Thulani Hlatshwayo have work to do defensively and avoid elementary errors that could cost them qualification. 

  • Prediction: 3rd
  • CAF ranking: 14
  • Afcon appearances: 9
  • Key man: Percy Tau 

Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Namibia 

Namibia will find themselves at the bottom of Group D having not accumulated any points; it's already a negative going into this fixture with Itamunua Keimuine's OG in their clash with Morocco. The Brave Warriors, however, displayed strong defence and were difficult to crack in most of the game. With Deon Hotto who plies his trade for Bidvest Wits, Namibia will have to put everything they have into their clash and create chances that will prove fruitful as they look to prove their status as the underdogs of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. 

  • Prediction: 4th
  • CAF ranking: 28
  • Afcon appearances: 3
  • Key man: Ryan Nyambe, Deon Hotto

Read more: AFCON Group E preview: Will Tunisia sink Mali or will they choke?

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