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AFCON Fantasy Top Picks for Matchday 1

In this article we look at the AFCON Fantasy top picks for Matchday 1. With the competition edging closer we go through all of the best goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards for the round ahead.

Finding out who the AFCON Fantasy top picks for Matchday 1 are is crucial for managers. Knowing which players to invest in could help with decisions towards transfers, captaincy and chip strategy and so could be vital for rank and mini-league positioning.

Goalkeepers – Bechir Ben Said

Tunisia rank as Africa’ third best side which already highlights how good they are. In terms of defence Tunisia have managed four clean sheets in a row coming into the game so investing good be hugely rewarding especially against a Namibia who sit 115th on the FIFA rankings. Ben Said looks set to start for Tunisia and at just €4.5m, he could well be one of the best budget picks in the entire game.

Mohamed El-Shenawy

Another side with big potential this week is Egypt, a team who come into the competition as one of the favourites. Defensively they too have been impressive as of late – racking up four clean sheets in their last five matches. Another nicely priced goalkeeper is Mohamed El-Shenawy (€5m) who faces a team that sit 111th in the FIFA rankings.

Morocco rank as the best team in Africa whilst also sitting 13th in the overall FIFA Rankings. Morocco hugely impressed in their recent World Cup where they topped a Group with teams including Croatia and Belgium. Not just that but Morocco also conceded just one single goal in that campaign. One of the biggest contributors to that was Bono (€5.5m) who although pricier than the other options has the easiest group in the tournament.

Defenders – Emilio Nsue

Equatorial will no doubt make it extremely tough for Nigeria in Matchday 1 like they do for every team they face. Now, the clean sheet may or may not be there for Equatorial Guinea but they have a hidden gem within the game. That gem is Emilio Nsue who not only comes in at £4.5m but plays in a wing and strikers role for his side. In fact, Nsue is actually his teams top scorer coming into the competition (18 goals).

Mohamed Abdelmonem

Defenders are rewarded for more in this game – picking up additional points for actions like block, interceptions etc. With that in mind centre-backs like Mohamed Abdelmonem are a lot more appealing in the game. Finding a €4.5m defender in a defence as strong as Egypt’ is quite frankly to hard to ignore and because of that he is an easy addition to the AFCON Fantasy top picks for Matchday 1.

Ismail Jakobs

Senegal won the last AFCON and there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that they can win it again this time around. They come up against one of the worst ranked teams in the competition, Gambia. Ismail Jakobs (€5m) comes in at a fantastic price but as well as that and clean sheet potential he also has attacking threat. Jakobs has already banked a goal and an assist for French side Monaco this season and some won’t forget about the assist he collected in the most recent World Cup campaign.

Achrah Hakimi

Forget the fact that Morocco are the best team in Africa and forget clean sheets, Achraf Hakimi (€6.5m) is an absolute menace offensively. This season Hakimi has notched up a huge seven attacking returns for PSG in just 13 league matches. He also scored two goals in his last AFCON competition. Hakimi could be the ultimate points machine with the potential to earn points through blocks, interceptions, clean sheets, key passes, goals, assists, shots on target, the list goes on.

Midfielders – Franck Kessie

Investing in an offensive asset from Ivory Coast could be tough to navigate. However, ignoring the home nation after netting a massive 16 goals in their last three matches may be foolish. One way into the relentless frontline is Franck Kessie (€7.5m) who comes in at reasonable price. Kessie will benefit hugely for the points rewarded from blocks, interceptions etc, but he has also taken a share of his sides penalties. Not only has Kessie picked up eight goal contributions for his club this season but he faces a team ranked 103rd in the world.

Mohamed Salah

Some picks do not needs words to justify their selection but we will try anyway. Mohamed Salah (€12m) will undoubtedly go down as one of the best players to ever play the game from Africa and in the English Premier League. The Liverpool attacker remains at the top of his game after banking a huge 14 goals and eight assists in just 20 league matches so far this season. Salah is the talisman and penalty taker for Egypt, don’t overthink Salah in your teams.

Sadio Mane

Senegal are expected to dismantle Gambia, a team ranking 126th in the FIFA world ranking. Because of this and the fact they remain favourites, having a Senegal attacker this week is a must. That attacker is talisman and penalty taker Sadio Mane (€11.5m). Mane remains a top talent who plays in a Saudi side spearheaded by Cristiano Ronaldo. There so far this season Mane has hit eight goals and four assists in just 18 matches.

Riyad Mahrez

Algeria aren’t just one of the favourites for the competition but they have also scored between 2-5 goals in five of their last six matches. In great goal-scoring form Algeria have a meeting with 117th FIFA ranked Angola next and its penalty taker and main man Riyad Mahrez (€11m) who could benefit. In terms of his current season in Saudi Arabia Mahrez has amassed a huge eight goals and seven assists in 19 matches. Mahrez sustains a talent of having multiple routes to points which makes him a tough player to avoid.

Youssef Msakni

Namibia sit 115th in the FIFA ranking and so could be a great team to target with a Tunisia attacker. The standout Tunisian attacker is penalty taker Youssef Msakni (€7.5m). Msakni has netted six goals and one assist in just 10 league matches this season but he also impressed in the AFCON qualifiers where he hit five goals in just three matches.

Forwards – Vincent Aboubakar

Cameroon are serial winners of AFCON so are a team we can never ever underestimate, especially when they still have Vincent Aboubakar (€10m) leading the attack. Similar to his side Vincent Aboubakar has dominated AFCON over the years. In fact, in the most recent 2022 campaign the man himself struck a huge eight goals and one assist in just seven matches. Not only does he take penalties but he leads an exciting Cameroonian attack against Guinea in the first round.

Victor Osimhen

Nigeria have a tie with Equatorial Guinea in the first round, a match they are heavy favourites to win. Recent friendlies haven’t been convincing but this is a team who scored a mammoth 22 goals in qualification and Victor Osimhen (€11.5m) scored 10 of them which is quite frankly absurd. Osimhen also goes into the tournament as a player many expect to pick up the golden boot.

Patson Daka

Zambia come up against Congo in the first round, a team they beat 4-2 in AFCON qualification. Leading the efficient Zambia frontline as we can see is Leicester frontman Patson Daka (€7m) who comes in much cheaper than other strikers. In terms of his output for country Daka picked up five goals in six matches. He also netted in his most recent friendly against Cameroon and takes penalties.


We picked out some of the best budget picks for Matchday 1 in AFCON Fantasy right here.

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