Burkina Faso AFCON 2023 squad reaction: Will Stallions heartbreak unfold again?

Burkina Faso have been the AFCON’s ‘nearly' team in recent editions, finishing in the top four places in three of the last four finals. The Stallions' golden age is now in full swing, however, giving them a solid chance of lifting a first-ever AFCON title.

Bertrand Traore of Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso have reached the semi-finals in three of their last four AFCONS – Photo by Icon sport

Burkina Faso AFCON 2023 squad review

As expected in our Burkina Faso predicted XI preview,  French coach Hubert Velud has opted for consistency and experience in his 27-man AFCON squad. However, one major omission is the 45-cap midfielder Cyrille Bayala, who is out with an anterior cruciate injury.

Full Burkina Faso AFCON 2023 squad

Goalkeepers

  • Herve Koffi (Charleroi)
  • Hillel Konate (Chateauroux) 
  • Kilian Nikiema (ADO Den Haag) 
  • Sebastien Tou (Sabadell)

Defenders

  • Issa Kabore (Luton Town) 
  • Steeve Yago (Aris Limassol) 
  • Issoufou Dayo (RS Berkane) 
  • Nasser Djiga (Red Star Belgrade) 
  • Edmond Tapsoba (Bayer Leverkusen) 
  • Adamo Nagalo (Nordsjaelland) 
  • Abdoul Guiebre (Modena)
  • Valentin Nouma (Saint Eloi Lupopo)

Midfielders

  • Blati Toure (Pyramids) 
  • Adama Guira (Racing Rioja) 
  • Dramane Salou (Urartu)
  • Ismahila Ouedraogo (Panserraikos) 
  • Sacha Banse (Valenciennes) 
  • Gustavo Sangare (Quevilly-Rouen) 
  • Stephane Aziz Ki (Young Africans)

Strikers

  • Bertrand Traore (Aston Villa) 
  • Dango Ouattara (Bournemouth)
  • Mamady Alex Bangre (Toulouse) 
  • Djibril Ouattara (RS Berkane) 
  • Hassane Bande (HJK Helsinki) 
  • Mohamed Konate (Akhmat Grozny) 
  • Abdoul Tapsoba (Amiens) 
  • Cedric Badolo (Sheriff Tiraspol)

Latest Burkina Faso AFCON 2023 outright odds

Surprise inclusions

Velud has called up two uncapped players in Sebastien Koula Tou and Sacha Bansé. Tou is the youngest member of the Burkina Faso squad, and he has made no senior appearances for club side CE Sabadell FC. Meanwhile, highly rated 22-year-old Bansé comes into the squad following 11 appearances for Ligue 2 side Valenciennes FC this season.

In-form players

Key players such as Bertrand Traore and Dango Ouattara feature as the key attacking players in Burkina Faso’s squad. In particular, Bournemouth’s Outtara will look to replicate his form of four goals in five AFCON qualifiers.

Dynamic forward Abdoul Tapsoba could also provide the Stallions with an alternative attacking outlet. The Amiens striker has scored five goals in just 19 international appearances.

At the defensive end of the pitch, goalkeeper Hervé Koffi will almost certainly keep his place as Burkina Faso’s number one. During AFCON qualifying, the 27-year-old goalkeeper conceded just one goal in four matches.

Opponent to watch: Riyad Mahrez of Algeria could upset Burkina Faso's Group D campaign – Photo by Icon Sport

Tactical analysis

Under Velud, Burkina Faso have lost just three of 14 internationals so far, and the central-African side have certainly caught the eye for their attacking, high-intensity approach. The Stallions will likely use the same setup and hope to make a strong start in their AFCON opener against Mauritania, the lowest-ranked side in Group D.

A potentially tougher clash awaits Burkina Faso in the second matchday, as the Stallions take on Algeria. Veuld’s side will perhaps be more cautious against a dangerous Algeria team boasting some of the top African players. The likes of Riyad Mahrez, Houssem Aouar and Ismael Bennacer could give Burkina Faso a run for their money in Group D.

Angola will be Burkina Faso’s final group opponent. The Black Antelopes have failed to get past the group stage in their last three AFCON appearances. Moreover, the side’s only player plying their trade in top European leagues is Zito Luvumbo. As a result, the Stallions will be favoured for this encounter.

Current odds

Burkina Faso are currently priced at 50/1 to win their first-ever AFCON, but only 4/1 to win Group D.

Burkina Faso AFCON trivia

  1. Burkina Faso have failed to win all 12 of their opening AFCON matches.
  2. The Stallions have never won an international tournament.
  3. After competing as Upper Volta, Burkina Faso entered their first AFCON as an independent nation in 1996.
  4. The nation has reached the semi-finals in its last two finals appearances. 
  5. If Bertrand Traore scored three tournament goals, he would be the joint-highest Burkina Faso scorer of all time, level with Alain Traore (5 goals).

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Alex Waite

Alex is a freelance sports writer with experience writing digital news, blogs, features, exlcusive interviews and SEO. He has a keen interest and knowledge of UK and European football, ATP and WTA tennis, cricket and boxing.