Africa Cup of Nations: Predictions Ahead of the Final Group Games

A further update of my previous pieces previewing the Africa Cup of Nations and looking at the impact of the first matches.

Group A

Senegal are definitely out and Co-Host Equatorial Guinea are through. This leaves Zambia and Libya, although Libya need to beat Senegal and hope Zambia lose with a net movement in goal difference of at least three in their favour. We make the chance of that happening just 2.8%! If Zambia win they will win the group, which given the Ivory Coast will probably meet the runners up of this group, will be a prize worth fighting for.

Group B

Ivory Coast qualify for the second round comfortably and have eliminated Burkina FasoSudan must beat Burkina Faso and hope the Ivory Coast defeat Angola (again a net movement in goal difference of three is also required), identical to the situation in Group A. The chance in this instance is 8%. If Angola beat the Ivory Coast they will win the group.

Group C

Qualification is decided in this group with Gabon and Tunisia through, although they will battle to win the group. Morocco and Niger are playing for the wooden spoon of the group.

Group D

Still everything to play for in this group, unless you’re Botswana who are eliminated. Ghana are almost certain qualify (99.9%) but haven’t secured the group win. Guinea and Mali both have three points, but are seperated by large gap in goal difference (+4 to -1 respectively). However Mali are favourites to qualify as they take on Botswana while Guinea have to play the strongest team in the group. Guinea will be hoping Ghana rest players.


In terms of the overall competition, we now see the following chances of progression for the teams who can still make it to the knockout phase. As you’d expect the Ivory Coast continue to look strong favourites for the title

Latest Africa Cup of Nations Knockout Percentages


Preview: Africa Cup of Nations 2012

Most fans of Premier League clubs will be aware of the upcoming 28th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations primarily due to the star players who will be leaving their clubs for up to five games. The Fink Tank (£) on Saturday focused on the impact of these players leaving, but in this piece we’ll look at who is likely to win the competition.

Although players left for training camps a couple of weeks ago, the tournament kicks off on Saturday. Co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, the competition is missing many of the strongest teams in Africa. Cameroon (ranked 3rd in Africa by Dectech), Egypt  (6th and defending champions), Nigeria (4th), and South Africa (7th) all failed to qualify. Sadly South Africa’s players ended the qualifying tournament under the misapprehension that they had qualified after their coach failed to properly understand the rules in the case of a three-way tie-break. At least they qualify as hosts for the 2013 edition. Continue reading

What’s up with Chelsea’s Defence?

Chelsea haven’t really lived up to expectations this season. Some have pointed out that their poor defensive performance is to blame. But which part exactly? I got curious and wanted to find out.

I started by looking at some of Chelsea’s raw stats. This season, by the end of 2011, Chelsea had conceded 24 league goals from a total of 19 matches. That comes to 1.26 goals per match. How does that compare to previous seasons? The chart below illustrates:

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