AFCON 2023: Artificial Intelligence Predicts Teams Most Likely to Reach the Final in Ivory Coast

AFCON 2023: Artificial Intelligence Predicts Teams Most Likely to Reach the Final in Ivory Coast

Rene Otinga
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
Senegal logo
Senegal
Senegal
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Egypt logo
Egypt
Egypt
30
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
CAF AFCON
Africa
  • Opta’s AI has created a list of the teams most likely to reach the AFCON final
  • Egypt, Senegal, and Morocco are among the favourites to win the tournament
  • The Lions of Teranga will head into the competition hoping to retain their title

Could Senegal become only the fourth nation to win back-to-back titles at the Africa Cup of Nations?

The Lions of Teranga have already touched down in Ivory Coast for the continental tournament, where they will seek to retain the trophy won at the previous edition.

However, Senegal will not have an easy path to repeated success, with 23 other African football heavyweights prepared to seize glory at AFCON 2023.

Sadio Mane of Senegal during the international friendly between Senegal and Cameroon on October 16, 2023, in Lens, France.
Sadio Mane of Senegal during the international friendly between Senegal and Cameroon on October 16, 2023, in Lens, France. Photo by Matthew Ashton.
Source: Getty Images

Despite the long road until the latest winner is crowned, Opta's supercomputer has listed the favourites to claim continental top honours come February 11.

AI predicts likely AFCON winners

Several factors were explained to have been considered in the AI's analysis algorithm while coming up with a nation’s chances of winning the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

The model estimates the probability based on the team’s strength, recent performances, potential knockout stage games, and the difficulty of a team’s path to the final.

Senegal has been given a 21.7% chance of reaching the AFCON final. The Lions of Teranga also have the highest odds of winning the trophy (12.8%), as cited by the BBC.

This is closely followed by host nation Ivory Coast, who have been given a 19.9% chance of making the final and a 12.1% chance of winning their first title since 2015.

The top five teams predicted to go all the way to the final are rounded off by North African nations Morocco, Algeria, and Egypt - 19.3%, 17.4%, and 16% respectively.

The full list of Opta's AI AFCON predictions

The full top 10, as predicted by Opta's AI to win AFCON, looks like this:

Senegal - 12.8%, Ivory Coast - 12.1%, Morocco - 11.1%, Algeria - 9.7%, Egypt - 8.5%, Nigeria - 8.1%, Cameroon - 7.4%, Tunisia - 6.3%, Ghana - 5.3%, Mali - 3.7%.

The responses to Opta's post on X have been mixed.

@Carticort commented:

"The people who do these predictions don't know ball man."

@JayJaySey took a swipe at the Black Stars:

"Ghana should be at the bottom of the list. Bad leaders, tactically inept coach and lack or proper organization."

Underdogs to watch at AFCON

Away from the heavyweights, there are also some underdog nations participating in the AFCON that have the potential to pull off the big upsets.

As Sports Brief previously reported, one such nation is South Africa - who are still looking to return to their glory days after missing out in 2021.

Tunisia are also not in the conversation, but they can hurt opponents on a good day, thanks to their decades of experience in the AFCON.

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Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and TUKO.co.ke.