Algeria the clear favourites, but Afcon does not usually play to form

 Sofiane Feghouli

Algeria's forward Sofiane Feghouli (right) fights for the ball with Sierra Leone's midfielder John Kamara during their Group E 2021 Africa Cup of Nations match between against Sierra Leone at Stade de Japoma in Douala on January 11, 2022.
 

Photo credit: Charly Triballeau | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Games have gotten tighter and I can say with confidence that even with the increased fixtures and presence of top predators – Mane, Salah, Wilfried Zaha, Sebastien Haller of Cote d’Ivoire, Samuel Chukwueze of Nigeria et al, on the prowl, Ndaye Mulamba’s stupendous record of nine goals scored for Zaire (now DR Congo) in a single tournament (1974) is safe.
  • There is an ignominious record I pray gets broken soon. Kenya holds the record of the team with the highest appearance in the finals (six) that has never gone beyond the group stage.

In my honest view, the failure of Kenya to qualify for the expanded 24-team Africa Cup of Nations should have been declared a national disaster.

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