The African Cup of Nation kicks off on January 19th in South Africa. It used to be that you had to wait every other year for the African Cup of Nations, but for the first time since 1963, we have an Afcon in a consecutive year–to avoid conflict of schedule with the World Cup. Who are you rooting for this year? Will you be attending Afcon? Let us know your thoughts and opzinion in the comments section below!

Fans count down to the Africa Cup of nations

South African fans ready themselves for Afcon 2013

Here are some of the major storylines emerging as we get closer to the African Cup of Nations:

1) Will Ivory Coast deliver as the favorite team heading into the tournament? Last year, Ivory Coast lost to defending champions Zambia in penalty kicks. This year, the team is slotted in Group D, the so called “Group of Death” that also includes Algeria, Tunisia, and Togo. While striker Salomon Kalou concedes that those teams are good, in an interview with MTN Football, the striker said, “We are the team to beat in this group.”

2) Will the stadiums be empty for Afcon? While the most recent numbers show improvement, the Committee has yet to hit their goal of selling 500,000 tickets.

3) Will South Africa’s Bafana Bafana “shock” everyone–as Coach Gordon Igesund says it will? South Africa began the year with a Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) ranking of 56, but then slid down to 87. Still, Coach Igesund is confident in his team, which is slotted in Group A with Angola, Morocco, and Cape Verde Islands. What do you think?

4) Who made the cut? The deadline for teams to name their 23-man lineup was January 9th.  While most teams submitted their lineups well before the deadline, a few countries did leave it to the last minute including Morocco, and defending champions Zambia.

5) Bafana Bafana loses 1-0 to Norway in a friendly match, and Ghana hammers Egypt 3-0. What do you make of all this?

Who are you rooting–and betting on–for the African Cup of Nations? Are you attending Afcon? Follow our blog, facebook, and twitter for all the latest on Afcon 2013.