Congratulations to Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria for qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil next year. These teams are the same 5 that qualified for the World Cup 4 years ago in South Africa, so with that familiarity comes experience and optimism.
Algeria: Scraped through against Burkina Faso on away goals but only after the cross bar saved them from conceding a last minute goal. When it comes to the World Cup, Algeria have a poor record, but there is no reason why this team can’t get past the group stage. Algeria have a young team with some good prospects but they will need to show their potential.
Key man: Ishak Belfodil is an exciting young forward who earned a big money move to Italian giants Inter Milan on the back of an impressive season for Parma.
Ghana: Looked the most impressive team during qualification notching up 18 goals and defeating Egypt 7-3 in the play offs. In South Africa 2010 Ghana could have made the semi finals if not for a Luis Suarez handball that cruelly robbed them. Ghana are experienced and have a solid squad full of big name players that are capable of upsetting the bigger teams.
Key man: Kevin Prince Boateng, The AC Milan star is an intelligent player who can spot and play key passes.
Cameroon: When you hear the words Cameroon and World Cup you think back to 1990 when a certain 38 year old Roger Milla lit up the tournament with his dancing goal celebration. That year Cameroon made the quarter finals and looking through the team, there is no reason why they can’t this time round. They looked solid during qualification and beat Tunisia 4-1 in the play off to book a place in Brazil.
Key man: Samuel Eto’o is Mr Cameroon, having played 114 times for country and winning everything at club level. The legendary forward is a definite match winner.
Ivory Coast: qualified for their 3rd World Cup in a row after defeating a dangerous Senegal side 4-2 on aggregate in the play offs. filled with house hold names Ivory Coast are probably most peoples favourites to go the furthest out of all the African teams, however at the last 2 world cups they have made little impact. The squad are more then capable of getting past the group stage especially if Didier Drogba is in the team.
Key man: Yaya Toure, he would get into any team in the world with his strength power and determination he is the engine of the team.
Nigeria: It’s hard to believe that they are a team in transition, because they have since won the African Cup of Nations and was the first African team to qualify for the World Cup. We have to remember that this is a very young side still learning but full of talent for which the future looks great. A good run at the World Cup is what these young lads need to progress as players and to restore pride to the national team after a poor showing in South Africa.
Key man: Victor Moses: A exciting young player who has pace and skill to trouble any defence and playing along side the likes of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez can only make him better.
Written by Alex Griffiths