2012 African Cup of Nations : Ivory Coast
The Ivory Coast has only won the African Cup of Nations once despite producing some of the best footballers in Africa. That victory was back in 1992 in Senegal. This year 7-time winners Egypt failed to qualify. They had won the last 3 editions. Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa also failed to qualify for this year's edition.
If there ever was a perfect time for The Elephants to be crowned as African champions it is this year. This could very well be the last time we see Didier Drogba in the AFCON. But hopefully he can also make it next year in the 2013 African Cup of Nations.
The Côte d'Ivoire squad is filled with quality and experience from the goalkeeper all the way to their strike force. During qualification they won 6 out of 6 games. In Africa the toughest thing to do is win away. But Côte d'Ivoire managed to win all their away games. They are the only side that managed this.
Any successful team must have a strong spine. There is Kolo Toure (Manchester City) marshalling the defence, he has over 60 caps. The midfield general is Yaya Toure his absence at Manchester City is already being felt and the tournament has not even started. Upfront it is the Chelsea striker Didier Drogba who scored 4 goals during qualifiers and has scored 50 goals in 75 caps.
The 2 teams that can stop this team from lifting the title are Ghana and Senegal in my view. If those two teams win their respective groups and Ivory Coast win theirs, this would mean a much easier passage towards the final for The Elephants. But this is Africa and anything can happen.