Group C: Betting Offers, Free Bets and Betting Tips
Check out everything you need to know about Group C in the Africa Cup of Nations, which includes Senegal, Cameroon, Guinea & the Gambia. Find the latest Africa Cup of Nations free bets and betting offers here, as well as the latest tips from our team of experts.
Group C features not only the holders but also five-times Africa Cup of Nations champions. Senegal are seeking to retain the trophy they won, for the very first time by the way, two years ago, while Cameroon are chasing a sixth title to add to their collection. Guinea and The Gambia met each-other in knockout phase in 2022 but, in all likelihood, at least one will miss out on the round of 16 this time.
Group C Fixtures
All kick off times shown are GMT
Monday 15 January- 2pm: Senegal 3-0 Gambia
Monday 15 January- 5pm: Cameroon 1-1 Guinea
Friday 19 January- 5pm: Senegal 3-1 Cameroon
Friday 19 January- 8pm: Guinea 1-0 Gambia
Tuesday 23 January- 5pm: Guinea 0-2 Senegal
Tuesday 23 January- 5pm: Gambia 2-3 Cameroon
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Group C Team Profiles
FIFA World Ranking: 20
Best AFCON Performance: Winners (2022)
Senegal′s Top Tip
Senegal′s Star player- Sadio Mané
Senegal have, arguably, the most-talented squad of any team at this tournament, but Sadio Mané is, without doubt, their talismanic superstar.
He is the Lions of Téranga’s to-scorer of all-time, taking his tally to 40 by bagging a brace against South Sudan in a November World Cup qualifier.
Mané scored twice at the 2017 AFCON and twice at the 2019 edition, before finding the target three times in 2022, a tournament that was certainly memorable for his country.
Following an unhappy one-year stint at Bayern Munich, he moved to Al-Nassr this summer, for whom he’s scored nine times and provided three assists; that’s a goal contribution every 156 minutes.
He may be 31 years old now, but Mané remains Senegal’s talisman in attack.
Senegal′s manager- Aliou Cissé
Aliou Cissé is Senegal’s most-successful manager ever, hoping to add another triumph to his résumé.
As a player, he captained the Lions of Téranga at their debut World Cup in 2002, part of the side that beat defending champions France in the opening game and got to the round of 16.
That same year, Cissé had led out his country in their very-first Africa Cup of Nations Final, but missed the decisive spot-kick in the heartbreaking shootout defeat to Cameroon in Bàmakɔ̌.
His performances at the World Cup in Korea earned him a move to Birmingham City, sent off on his Premier League debut at Highbury, before also representing Portsmouth.
Following retirement, he became Senegal’s U23 manager, occupying that post for two years, before taking over the senior national team in 2015.
Under Cissé, they’ve enjoyed unparalleled success, qualifying for back-to-back World Cups for the first time, reaching the round of 16 in Qatar, thanks to wins over the hosts and Ecuador, before defeat to England.
At AFCON too, they’ve certainly been a serious force in recent years, but we’ll save that for the next segment.
Senegal′s Africa Cup of Nations history
As we’re sure you’re already aware, Senegal are reigning and defending Africa Cup of Nations champions, hoping to retain their title.
In 2022, following knockout phase wins over Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea and Burkina Faso, the Lions of Téranga met Egypt in the final, prevailing on penalties following a generally dull goalless draw in Yaoundé.
This came just two and a half years after Senegal had reached only their second-ever AFCON Final, the other in 2002, beaten 1-0 by Algeria in Cairo.
For Aliou Cissé personally, he’s been involved in all three finals his country have ever reached, as well as all three World Cups, with that triumph in 2022 making it third time lucky in AFCON terms.
So, having become the 15th different winners of this competition, Senegal are aiming to become only the fourth country to go back-to-back, after Egypt, Ghana and Cameroon.
Everything you need to know about Senegal
Senegal come into this tournament as one of the favourites to go all the way, given that they have a highly-talented squad.
Thirteen months ago, they reached the World Cup knockout stages, one of only two African nations to get that far, their run ended by England in Al-Khor. Since, their sole defeat has come in a friendly against Algeria, notably beating Brazil 4-2 at Estádio José Alvalade last summer, albeit that only a friendly too.
From front to back, this is a team jam-packed full of familiar faces. Édouard Mendy is one of the best goalkeepers in this continent, while captain Kalidou Koulibaly as well as Moussa Niakhaté, Cheikhou Kouyaté and Youssouf Sabaly could all feature in his defence.
Idrissa Gana Gueye and Pape Matar Sarr sit at the base of midfield, allowing attacking stars to shine, and there are plenty of those.
Marseille duo Ismaïla Sarr and Iliman Ndiaye, Chelsea’s Nicolas Jackson and of course captain Sadio Mané all have the talent to fire Senegal all the way.
FIFA World Ranking: 46
Best AFCON Performance: Winners (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002 & 2017)
Cameroon′s Top Tip
Cameroon′s Star player- André-Frank Zambo Anguissa
Picking Cameroon’s star player was one of the tougher ones, because there are plenty to choose from, but we had to go for André-Frank Zambo Anguissa.
The midfielder was, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the very best players in Serie A last season, a key figure as Napoli won their first Scudetto for 33 years. The 28-year-old has carried that form into this season too, starting 17 of I Partenopei’s 19 matches, scoring a well-taken strike at the Bernabéu in the Champions League in November.
At international level, Zambo Anguissa has accumulated over 50 caps scoring five times, the first of which came at the Confederations Cup (remember that!?), also starting all three World Cup games in Qatar.
That said, he’s not in the team to score goals, breaking up play at the base of midfield and allowing the attacking players in this team, of which there are plenty, to shine.
Cameroon′s manager- Rigobert Song
No player has won more caps for Cameroon than Rigobert Song, who is now managing the team, tasked with restoring former glories.
During his playing career, Song played for Liverpool, West Ham United, Galatasaray and others, amassing 137 caps for the national team; only three men for any African nation have more, all of whom are Egyptian.
He represented les Lions Indomptables at four World Cups, spanning from ‘94 to 2010, winning the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000 and 2002, captaining the side in the 2003 Confederations Cup Final defeat to France. Then, having managed the U23s on just three occasions, Song was parachuted in as national team head coach in March 2022, succeeding Toni Conceição just ahead of the World Cup play-offs.
After less than four weeks in the job, Song guided his country to the World Cup, overseeing a dramatic away goals victory over Algeria, featuring an 124th minute winner with the last kick of extra time.
Under Song, Cameroon usually deploy a generally attacking 4-4-3 formation. Manchester United goalkeeper André Onana fell out with Song at the World Cup, due to a disagreement about playing out from the back, so has only featured intermittently since.
Assuming Onana is back, his defence will feature Nouhou, who’s very attack-minded down the left, with André-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Olivier Ntcham tasked with protecting the back-line from midfield.
In attacking, since declaring for Cameroon last year, Bryan Mbeumo has been in great form, scoring against Mexico, Burundi and Mauritius, thereby guaranteeing himself a spot in the starting XI. Alongside is likely to be Karl Toko Ekambi and Vincent Aboubakar, the latter was the top-scorer at the 2022 AFCON with eight, the most any player has managed at a single edition since 1974.
Cameroon′s Africa Cup of Nations history
Cameroon are five-times Africa Cup of Nations winners, only Egypt can boast more titles, first winning this competition in 1984, before also doing so three times since the turn of the millennium.
Their most-recent triumph came in 2017, beating Egypt 2-1 in Libreville, courtesy of Vincent Aboubakar’s last-gasp winner. Given their serious pedigree, les Lions Indomptables went into the 2022 AFCON under enormous pressure to win it, given that they were of course hosts.
Well, they looked set to live up this hype, beating Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Comoros and the Gambia, before a heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat at the hands of Egypt, yes them again, in the semi-finals.
Nevertheless, given that Cameroon have featured in seven finals and a further three semis, they are amongst the favourites to go all the way.
Everything you need to know about Cameroon
The only way Cameroon can avenge that defeat at Stade d’Olembé in the 2022 semi-finals would be to win AFCON this time round, something they’re more than capable of achieving.
In the two years since, les Lions Indomptables have, most-notably, qualified for the World Cup, at which they held Serbia to a thrilling 3-3 draw before beating Brazil, going out with a respectable four points.
In qualifying for this competition, Rigobert Song’s side were far from scintillating, suffering a shock 2-1 defeat in Namibia, only getting over the line with a final matchday victory over Burundi.
This though matters for very little, given that Cameroon boast one of the most-talented squads at this tournament, so they certainly have both the pedigree and players to go all the way.
FIFA World Ranking: 80
Best AFCON Performance: Finalists (1976)
Guinea′s Top Tip
Guinea′s Star player- Serhou Guirassy
He may only have 12 international caps to his name, but Serhou Guirassy is undoubtedly this team’s star man.
To date, the striker has scored three times for Guinea, opening his account against Brazil in June, which isn’t bad for starters, subsequently on target in matches against Egypt and Gabon.
However, it’s his club for that’s caught the eye, scoring 16 goals in just 11 Bundesliga appearances for Stuttgart so far this season, netting every 50 minutes on average in all competitions. He became the first player in German top-flight history to net 13 times in the first seven fixtures of a campaign, bagging hat-tricks against both Mainz and Wolfsburg.
At 27-year-old, this will be his major tournament debut, so can Guirassy carry this astonishing form into AFCON?
Guinea′s manager- Kaba Diawara
Guinea’s manager is Kaba Diawara, which may be a familiar name to Arsenal fans, given that he made 14 appearances for the Gunners in 1999, failing to score despite being a striker.
He would also represent Olympique Marseille, Paris Saint-Germain, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United, Nice and many other clubs, as well as the Guinean national team 28 times, scoring ten goals. In 2021, Diawara was appointed Guinea’s national team manager, his first senior coaching role, guiding the team to qualification for this tournament.
He started off deploying a 3-5-2 but, more-recently, has switched to a 4-3-3, with Valencia centre-back Mouctar Diakhaby, who changed allegiance from France last year, a massive coup.
Amadou Diawara, Ilaix Moriba and Naby Keïta form a high-class midfield trio, with the aformentioned Serhou Guirassy leading the attack.
Guinea′s Africa Cup of Nations history
Guinea are set to appear at their 15th Africa Cup of Nations, a tally only 11 teams can better, while no team has featured at the finals on that many occasions without ever winning the competition.
The National Elephants’ best-ever run came all the way back in 1976, ending up as runners-up to Morocco.
Since, they’ve gone no further than the quarter-finals, falling at that hurdle in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2015, ousted in the round of 16 at the last two editions.
Everything you need to know about Guinea
As outlined above, Guinea have never won a knockout phase match at the Africa Cup of Nations, losing all five, including defeat to Algeria in 2019 and Gambia two years ago.
Changing that fact has to be the National Elephants’ aim, although getting through this group certainly won’t be easy.
They struggle to compete with big teams, beaten by both Egypt and Brazil in a friendly earlier this year, meaning the group stages could prove to be the end of the road for Guinea.
FIFA World Ranking: 126
Best AFCON Performance: Quarter-finals (2022)
Gambia′s Top Tip
Gambia′s Star player- Musa Barrow
Gambia’s players congregate from far and wide, plying their trade is such far-flung places as Slovakia, South Africa, USA, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Wales.
Our player in focus is one of the many footballers who moved to the Saudi Pro League this summer, with Musa Barrow swapping Bologna for Al Taawoun in September.
After scoring eight times for Atalanta and 27 for I Rossoblù, Barrow has netted on four ocassions for his new employers but, wherever he plays his club football, he remains a key figure for his national team.
To date, he’s scored six for the Scorpions, netting against both Mali and Guinea at the most-recent Africa Cup of Nations during their historic run- more on that later.
Barrow added to his international tally against Burundi in a November World Cup qualifier and, in a team that generally lacks top-end talent, he can be a serious difference maker.
Gambia′s manager- Tom Saintfiet
Fifty-year-old Belgian Tom Saintfiet is Gambia’s manager, continuing his coaching career that’s taken him far and wide.
The Scorpions are the tenth different senior national team he’s managed, after Namibia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Yemen, Malawi, Togo, Bangladesh, Trinidad & Tobago and Malta.
Having been in charge since 2018, this’ll be the second Africa Cup of Nations at which Saintfiet has led Gambia. Under him, they’re flexible when it comes to base formations, but it’s often a rather defensive 4-4-2 block.
Omar Colley, now of Beşiktaş, is their star defender, leading a defence that keeps plenty of clean sheets, while the aforementioned Musa Barrow is often partnered in attack by Assan Ceesay.
Gambia′s Africa Cup of Nations history
The Gambia made their Africa Cup of Nations debut two years ago, qualifying at DR Congo’s expense, but certainly were not there just to make up the numbers.
Tom Saintfiet’s team, against all expectations, came through the group phase unbeaten, defeating both Mauritania and Tunisia 1-0, the latter a huge upset, whilst also holding Mali to a 1-1 draw.
This saw them face Guinea in the round of 16, with Musa Barrow the match-winner in another shock 1-0 win, before the Scorpions’ memorable run was ended by hosts Cameroon in the quarter-finals.
This saw Gambia become only the sixth debutants, after Madagascar (2019), Cape Verde (2013), Equatorial Guinea (2012), South Africa (1996) and Libya (1982) in 48 years to reach the quarter-finals or beyond.
Everything you need to know about Gambia
After stunning the world at the last Africa Cup of Nations, the Gambia are back and hoping to do it all over again.
Despite their mesmeric run, the Scorpions actually began this qualifying cycle in the preliminary round, narrowly ousting Chad 3-2, before coming second in their group, above both Congo and South Sudan.
Back in September, they qualified on a dramatic final matchday, fighting back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Congo, courtesy of Muhammed Badamosi’s crucial stoppage time equaliser.
Since, Tom Saintfiet’s team have started World Cup qualifying with back-to-back defeats, beaten by both Burundi and Côte d’Ivoire in November, suggesting they may struggle to compete at this AFCON.
This means they are now the lowest-ranked team at this tournament, currently 126th in the FIFA World Rankings, just below European minnows Estonia and Cyprus, a whole ten spots worse-off than North Korea!
So, the Gambia are rank-outsiders to get out of this group, but the same was true two years ago, so we’ve learnt never to write this team off.