Austin “Jay Jay” Okocha does not envisage any surprises at the AFCON 2015. He tips Ghana and three others to win.
The Nigeria football legend saw his country, who won the 2013 edition, fail to qualify for Equatorial Guinea.
The 2012 AFCON saw a determined Zambia emerge surprise winners but the 41-year-old ex-midfielder doubts a repeat of that at the Equatorial Guinea tournament.
“I do expect no surprises during this AFCON , as was the case in 2012 when Zambia won the trophy,” the retired footballer told Lebuteur.
Okocha believes one of the big boys, Ghana, favorites Algeria and perennial under-achievers Ivory Coast will go on to win the finals.
“For me, the favourites are Algeria, Ghana, Tunisia and Ivory Coast who for some time now have always been tipped to win the AFCON,” Okocha said.
He is however baffled by how the golden generation of the Ivory Coast national team keeps missing out on the AFCON trophy.
“The Ivorians have a team of talented players. I do not understand how they keep missing [the trophy] every time,” he wondered.
“Maybe 2015 will be good for them,” the ex-Bolton star hopes.
Assessing Algeria’s chances in the ‘group of death’ of the AFCON, Okocha said the widely tipped favourites could go all the way.
“Algeria is likely to advance to the quarterfinals. I would say the team has the chance to win the African Cup. We saw how well they performed at the last World Cup – advancing to the last 16 was a respectable achievement. Algeria also had a very good run in the AFCON qualifying which shows continuity,” he said.
The AFCON kicks off in Bata on January 17 with an Equatorial Guinea-Congo opening match. The final match is set for the same venue on February 8, 2015.