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Africa Cup of Nations

Africa Cup of Nations Group F: Odds, Tips and Free Bets

Group F is our focus here, with all you need for the four teams taking part


Group F: Betting Offers, Free Bets and Betting Tips

Check out everything you need to know about Group F in the Africa Cup of Nations, which includes Morocco, DR Congo, Zambia & Tanzania. 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 F contains Morocco, one of the big favourites to win this year’s AFCON, as well as other previous winners DR Congo and Zambia, while Tanzania are rank-outsiders.

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Group F Fixtures

All kick off times shown are GMT

Wednesday 17 January- 5pm: Morocco 3-0 Tanzania

Wednesday 17 January- 8pm: DR Congo 1-1 Zambia

Sunday 21 January- 2pm: Morocco 1-1 DR Congo

Sunday 21 January- 5pm: Zambia 1-1 Tanzania

Wednesday 24 January- 8pm: Tanzania 0-0 DR Congo

Wednesday 24 January- 8pm: Zambia 0-1 Morocco

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Latest Africa Cup of Nations statistics, betting odds and results

Group F Team Profiles

Morocco

FIFA World Ranking: 13.

Best AFCON Performance: Winners (1976).

Morocco′s Top Tip

Morocco′s Star player- Hakim Ziyech

There are plenty of world-class players in this Morocco team, but we want to highlight the squad’s top-scorer.

Hakim Ziyech has scored 21 times for the Atlas Lions, chasing down Ahmed Faras’ national record of 36, that’s stood since 1977, although he’s running out of time to achieve this. He scored his very first World Cup goal against Canada in Qatar, subsequently netting against South Africa and Tanzania during 2023.

At club level, Ziyech was stupendous during a trophy-laden four-year spell with Ajax, but then failed to make much impact at Chelsea, so joined Süper Lig champions Galatasaray on loan this summer.

For the Turkish club, he’s so far scored four times, including a brace during a thrilling 3-3 draw with Manchester United in İstanbul.

Morocco′s manager- Walid Regragui

Walid Regragui won 44 caps for Morocco as a player, during a career that took him to RC Paris, Toulouse, Ajaccio, Racing Santander, Dijon and others.

As a head coach, he won the Qatar Stars League with Al-Duhail and the CAF Champions League title in charge of Wydad AC, before being appointed as national team manager in August 2022.

His successor Vahid Halilhodžić was sacked, essentially, for falling out with the entire first team squad, which isn’t ideal, the second time the Bosnian has been sacked on the eve of a World Cup due to non-sporting issues. This change turned out to be a masterstroke from the FRMF, but more on that in a bit.

Regragui has deployed a 4-3-3 in all but one of his 18 matches at the helm, featuring Yassine Bounou, one of the continent’s best goalkeepers. Nayef Aguerd and Romain Saïss are a high-class centre-back pairing, with Sofyan Amrabat dropping in to form a back three, allowing full-backs Noussair Mazraoui and, in particular, Achraf Hakimi to get forward.

In attack, Hakim Ziyech is always one of the wingers, looking to supply Youssef En-Nesyri. The Sevilla striker has now scored three World Cup goals, seeking to score at a fourth different edition of AFCON.

Morocco′s Africa Cup of Nations history

Morocco have only ever won the Africa Cup of Nations once, hoisting aloft the trophy all the way back in 1976.

Since, the Atlas Lions have been dumped out in the semi-finals of 1980, 1986 and 1988, with their only subsequent final appearance coming in 2004, beaten 2-1 by hosts and fierce rivals Tunisia in Radès.

Their ceiling in the last two decades has been the quarter-finals, ousted in the last eight by Egypt in both 2017 and 2022, defeated 2-1 after extra time in Yaoundé two years ago.

Everything you need to know about Morocco

Following their historic run at the World Cup 14 months ago, many are tipping Morocco as favourites to win this edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.

In Qatar, the Atlas Lions became the first-ever African side to reach a World Cup semi-final, thanks to wins over Belgium, Canada, Spain and Portugal, before ultimately being swatted aside by France at Al-Bayt Stadium.

Since then, Walid Regragui’s team have also enjoyed a famous friendly win over Brazil in Ṭangier, also kicking off World Cup qualifying with a win over Tanzania in Dar es Salaam. In 18 months time, Morocco will host the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 37 years, before co-hosting the World Cup in 2030, as the biggest show on earth comes to North Africa for the very first time.

So, there’s plenty for Moroccan football fans to be excited about, and now feels like the time for this team to end their long wait for silverware.


DR Congo

FIFA World Ranking: 67.

Best AFCON Performance: Winners (1968 & 1974).

DR Congo′s Top Tip

DR Congo′s Star player- Yoane Wissa

DR Congo’s squad is full of players you’ve probably heard of, but may not be aware are Congolese, the most high-profile of which may well be Yoane Wissa.

The striker has scored 20 times for Brentford, including netting three in the Premier League so far this season.

At international level, since making his debut for the Leopards in 2020, Wissa has scored three times for his country, the first two of which came against Morocco, before netting against Mauritania during qualifying.

DR Congo′s manager- Sébastien Desabre

Frenchman Sébastien Desabre is a bit of a journeyman head coach in Africa football, managing 11 different teams, including Pyramids FC, Wydad AC and Uganda’s national team at the 2019 AFCON.

He was then appointed DR Congo’s manager in August 2022, following the team’s defeat in the World Cup play-offs, losing just two of 12 matches at the helm so far. Desabre favours a 4-2-3-1 formation, and has plenty of players with high-level expirence to choose from.

Chancel Mbemba will captain the side from centre-back, leading a defence that’ll also feature Arthur Masuaku. Luton’s Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu is an option in midfield, as is Edo Kayembe of Watford and West Brom’s Grady Diangana, who only switched allegiance in October 2023.

The aforementioned Yoane Wissa and Cédric Bakambu, who has scored 16 times for his country, just six short of the all-time record, headline a talented roster of attackers.

DR Congo′s Africa Cup of Nations history

This’ll be DR Congo’s 19th appearance at AFCON, entering under four different guises, previously known as Congo-Léopoldville, Congo-Kinshasa and then Zaire, becoming DR Congo in the late ‘90s.

Regardless, les Léopards won this competition in both 1968 and 1974 before, in more recent times, finishing third in both 1995 and 2015, beaten in the semi-finals by eventual winners Côte d’Ivoire nine years ago.

Since, DR Congo have fallen in the first knockout round in both 2017 and 2019, ousted by Ghana and minnows Madagascar, before failing to qualify for the most-recent edition entirely.

Everything you need to know about DR Congo

As mentioned, having missed out on the 2022 AFCON, simply qualifying for this edition is some form of success, finishing top of Group I, but doing so in dramatic circumstances.

They actually lost their first two matches, before winning three of their last four to make it, later awarded a victory over Mauritania, who fielded an ineligible player during the 1-1 draw, but this made minimal difference.

In terms of talent, Sébastien Desabre’s team are capable of going far, but the Leopards rarely show signs of consistency, emphasised by their 1-0 defeat to Sudan in a World Cup qualifier last time out.

So, we’d expect DR Congo to get out of this group, but they’ll almost certainly be sent packing by the first top-tier team they encounter in the knockout phase.


Zambia

FIFA World Ranking: 84.

Best AFCON Performance: Winners (2012).

Zambia′s Top Tip

Zambia′s Star player- Patson Daka

Zambia’s strength certainly lies in attack, with Patson Daka by far their most high-profile forward.

At club level, after winning seven major honours with RB Salzburg, the striker joined Leicester City in 2021, scoring nine Premier League goals and winning the FA Community Shield.

For the Copper Bullets, Daka has scored 18 goals in just 40 caps, bagging nine international goals in just seven appearances in 2023.

Zambia′s manager- Avram Grant

Of all 24 managers at this edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, Avram Grant is probably the most high-profile.

The Israeli led Chelsea to the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final, beaten on penalties by Manchester United. He then managed Portsmouth, West Ham United and Partizan Belgrade, winning the 2012 Serbian SuperLiga title.

His first foray into international management came with Ghana, helping the Black Stars get all the way to the 2015 AFCON Final, appointed Zambia manager in 2022, his first job for over four years. In his nine matches in charge, the Copper Bullets usually deploy an attacking 4-3-3, in an attempt to get the best out of their forward-line, which is where this team’s strength lies.

Kings Kangwa of Crvena zvezda is tasked with holding it all together in midfield, alongside captain Lubambo Musonda, while Ayr United’s Frankie Musonda could start at left-back.

The aforementioned Patson Daka will lead the attack, with former Rangers man Fashion Sakala Jr in support, while any of Francisco Mwepu (Cádiz), Lameck Banda (Lecce) or Edward Chilufya (Midtjylland) could complete the front three.

Zambia′s Africa Cup of Nations history

Zambia have caused the big upset in modern-day Africa Cup of Nations history, with their triumph on par with that of Greece winning Euro 2004.

Back in 2012, against all odds, the Copper Bullets were crowned African Champions for the very first time. They topped their group unbeaten, before ousting Sudan and Ghana in the knockout phase, with a penalty shootout victory over Côte d’Ivoire in the final in Libreville completing the remarkably run.

Since then, emphasising how big an achievement this was, Zambia haven’t so much as won an AFCON match, exiting in the group phase in 2013 and 2015, before failing to qualify for three successive editions.

Nevertheless, that extraordinary triumph 12 years ago can never be taken away from them, with Zambia the only side since Congo in 1972 to have won AFCON without ever qualifying for a World Cup.

Everything you need to know about Zambia

As mentioned, Zambia are back at the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in nine years, hopeful of making an impact.

They accumulated 13 points in qualifying, their sole defeat coming against hosts Ivory Coast in Yamoussoukro, actually pipping les Éléphants to top spot in Group H. However, last time out, the Cooper Bullets were beaten by minnows Niger in a World Cup qualifier, emphasising this team’s inconsistency and vulnerabilities.

So, first and foremost, Zambia’s aim will be to get out of this group, possibly as a best-ranked third-place team, but we’d be surprised if they got much further than the round of 16.


Tanzania

FIFA World Ranking: 121.

Best AFCON Performance: Group stage (1980 & 2019).

Tanzania′s Top Tip

Tanzania′s Star player- Mbwana Ally Samatta

If you’ve heard of Mbwana Ally Samatta, it’s probably because you remember him from his days at Aston Villa, or perhaps you are Tanzanian, where this striker is a living legend.

The 30-year-old has scored 22 international goals, needing just three more to equal Mrisho Ngassa’s national record. Having netted against Kenya in 2019, Samatta could become the first Tanzanian player to score at multiple editions of the Africa Cup of Nations.

At club level, he’s now with PAOK in Greece, having previously represented Genk, twice, Fenerbahçe, Royal Antwerp and, as mentioned Aston Villa since moving to Europe from TP Mazembe in 2016. He did make just 16 appearances in Claret and Blue but scored two goals, netting against Bournemouth and then in the Carabao Cup Final defeat to Manchester City in 2020.

The former makes Samatta the only Tanzanian to score in the Premier League, one of only 11 nations to have exactly one scorer in the competition. In case you were wondering, the other members of the one and only club are:

Armando Broja (Albania), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Armenia), Alexander Hleb (Belarus), Shaun Goater (Bermuda), Onel Hernández (Cuba), Pedro Obiang (Equatorial Guinea), Ragnar Klavan (Estonia), Modou Barrow (Gambia), Victor Wanyama (Kenya) and Milot Rashica (Kosovo).

Tanzania′s manager- Adel Amrouche

Adel Amrouche is a very experienced manager, having previously coached the national teams of Equatorial Guinea, Burundi, Kenya, Libya, Botswana and Yemen.

He was appointed as Tanzania’s head coach in March 2023, starting off favouring a 4-3-3, before switching to a back five in recent times, including in their last outing, a World Cup qualifier against Morocco.

Given that the Taifa Stars will be big underdogs in every match they play at this tournament, we expect them to be very defensive. The majority of this squad ply their trade in the domestic league, with a few exceptions, including midfielder Ben Starkie of Basford United, currently in England’s seventh-tier.

Bernard Kamungo is an interesting story, having recently declared for Tanzania, set to make his debut; he lived in a refugee camp in Kasulu as an infant before his family moved to Texas, where he now plays for FC Dallas.

For now, he’s likely to be on the bench, with Simon Msuva and Mbwana Ally Samatta leading the line given that, between them, they’ve scored 43 times for Tanzania, with this team’s strength lying in attack.

Tanzania′s Africa Cup of Nations history

Tanzania are set to make only their third appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations, a tally that’s guaranteed to rise to four in 2027, given that they’ll co-host that competition, alongside neighbours Kenya and Uganda.

The Taifa Stars made their AFCON debut all the way back in 1980, at which they finished bottom of their group, beaten by Nigeria and Egypt, before holding Côte d’Ivoire to a dead-rubber 1-1 draw.

Tanzania then went almost four decades without featuring at this tournament again, before ending this exile in 2019. However, they left Cairo without even a single point to their name, beaten by Senegal, Kenya and Algeria, one of only three teams to lose all three matches at that edition.

So, including shootout wins as victories, only Guinea-Bissau, Namibia and Mozambique have played more Africa Cup of Nations fixtures without ever claiming a victory.

Everything you need to know about Tanzania

As outlined, just qualifying for this tournament is a success for Tanzania, pipping Uganda to second spot in Group F, ending up a mere one point clear of the Cranes.

So, it would be a minor miracle if Adel Amrouche’s team got out of this group, with their aim, first and foremost, to end their wait for a first-ever AFCON win.

In a very competitive section, this seems a long-shot, but their second group stage fixture, facing Zambia in San-Pédro on 21 January, is almost certainly their best chance of changing this.


Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".