Former Chelsea and Ghana’s Black Stars midfielder Michael Essien has tipped Nigeria’s Super Eagles among potential winners of the now enlarged Africa Cup of Nations holding in Egypt in June.
The draw, which will group the qualified teams, will hold on Friday. The Ghanaian also named his country along with Senegal and Egypt as favourites.
According to Ghanaian online publication, Ghanaweb, Essien remarked that there are several good teams in Africa now but the heavyweights will reign supreme in the end.
“That is a difficult one because there are so many good teams these days – it’s very difficult to choose the eventual winner,” Essien told Goal.
“You cannot rule out the North African teams, especially the host nation Egypt with Mohamed Salah.
“Then Ghana and the West Africans like Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon are all strong teams, so the winner could come from there.
“It’s too close to call, so may the best side win.”
Ghana has not won the AFCON trophy since 1982 but Essien believes a determined Black Stars team can end the country’s drought.
“We need good hungry players, good management and a bit of luck to win titles in football and I have no doubt the team will be doing everything to win it,” he said.
“It won’t be easy because there are so many strong teams in Africa who will be looking to win it, so it’s going to be a big battle.
“I am sure the guys will be ready and we will find out in due course.”