Holders Senegal have emerged as the narrow favourites to lift the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) according to an artificial intelligence prediction model.
If the model’s prediction holds true, Senegal would become the fourth team to win consecutive AFCON tournaments, and the first since Egypt won three in a row between 2006 and 2010.
None of the past six defending champions have gone beyond the competition’s last 16.
The prediction model estimates the probability of each match outcome, win, draw or loss, by using betting market odds and Opta team rankings.
The odds and rankings are based on historical and recent team performances, opponent strength, the difficulty of their path to the final using match outcome probabilities, the composition of the groups and potential knockout stage match-ups.
Senegal are the most likely winners according to the model, with a 12.8% chance, just ahead of hosts Ivory Coast (12.1%), who are attempting to win the trophy for a third time, after 1992 and 2015.
The last host nation to lift the trophy were Egypt in 2006 – with just two third-place finishes (Ghana in 2008 and Cameroon in 2021) the best result among the past nine countries to host or co-host the competition.