The Africa Cup of Nations kicks off with an exciting clash between Algeria and Angola in Group D. Both teams are eager to make their mark in the tournament, with Algeria aiming for a third AFCON title and Angola looking to advance to the knockout stages for the first time since 2010.
Algeria enters the tournament with confidence, having cruised through the qualifiers. They are making their sixth consecutive appearance at AFCON, their longest streak since the 1980s and 1990s.
However, they are determined to avoid a repeat of their disappointing performance in the 2021 edition, where they failed to win any of their group stage matches.
The Desert Warriors, ranked 30th in the world, have a rich history in the competition. They have won the AFCON title twice, in 1990 and 2019, with the latter victory secured by a solitary goal against Senegal.
Under coach Djamel Belmadi, Algeria is currently unbeaten in their last 13 games across all competitions, showcasing their formidable form.
Angola, on the other hand, returns to the continental showpiece after missing out on the last two editions. Their goal is to progress to the knockout stages, something they haven’t achieved since 2010.
Led by Portuguese tactician Pedro Goncalves, Angola is determined to make an impact in Group D, which includes tough opponents like Burkina Faso and Algeria.
Algeria has named an experienced 26-man squad for the tournament, featuring key players such as Islam Slimani, Sofiane Feghouli, and Riyad Mahrez.
Slimani, their leading scorer, will be hoping to add to his tally of 45 goals in 98 appearances. Additionally, promising young talents like Alexandre Oukidja and Bachir Belloum have also been included in the squad.
Angola has assembled a solid 27-man squad, including Gelson Dala and Bruno Paz. Dala, their top scorer in AFCON with two goals, will be a vital player for their attacking prowess.
The team’s backline will be fortified by the likes of To Carneiro and Jonathan Buatu-Mananga, while Manuel Keliano and Alfredo Kulembe Ribeiro will provide stability in midfield.
Atal, Bensebaini, Mandi, Ait Nouri;
Feghouli, Bentaleb, Bennacer;
Chaibi, Mahrez, Slimani
Carneiro, Buatu-Mananga, Gaspar, Augusto;
Keliano, Cafumana, Ribeiro;
Luvumbo, Milson, Dala
Prediction: Algeria 2-0 Angola
Considering Algeria’s recent form and superior squad depth, they are the favorites heading into this clash. We predict a 2-0 victory for Algeria, as they aim to start their campaign on a high note and secure three crucial points in Group D.