Guinea AFCON 2023 Preview and Predicted XI

Group C's third-seeded side have odds of 66/1 (67) to go all the way over in Ivory Coast, but our Guinea AFCON 2023 preview rules nothing out…

For the third consecutive Africa Cup of Nations, Guinea will be in attendance as they look to improve on their round of 16 finishes in 2019 and 2021. This will also be 15th time the nation has made it to the finals, but as usual Guinea are far from favoured in the odds to win AFCON.

How did Guinea qualify for AFCON?

With a five-point gap on Malawi in third and the same distance from Egypt in first, Guinea qualified quite comfortably for AFCON 2023. As the gap was five points on Malawi, they qualified in the fifth match from the total of six, despite losing to Egypt that matchday; they qualified as a result of Malawi's draw with Ethiopia.

This also meant Guinea headed into the final match of the qualification process against Malawi knowing any result didn’t really matter, as they concluded Group D with a 2-2 draw against them.

Further wins for National Elephants saw them defeat Ethiopia home and away, where Werder Bremen midfielder, Naby Keita, got amongst the goals in a 3-2 away victory.

Serhou Guirassy scores vs Brazil
(Photo by Felipe Mondino/LiveMedia/LiveMedia/Sipa USA) – Photo by Icon sport

Guinea AFCON 2023 Preview

Who will Guinea play at AFCON 2023?

Guinea are drawn into Group C at AFCON 2023 where a spot in the top two automatic qualification spots looks like a tough ask. 


As the winners of the previous AFCON in 2021, Senegal are the last team Guinea wanted to be matched with in Group C. Led out by their all-time top goalscorer and the hero of the last AFCON, Sadio Mane, Senegal are the highest ranked African side in the FIFA Rankings (20).

sadio mane for senegal
Sadio Mane is Senegal's main threat (Photo by Icon sport)


It's been a strange past two years for Cameroon, as they managed to stun Brazil at the 2022 World Cup with a group stage win but ultimately finished third in Group G.

They also struggled at times in qualification but finished third at the previous AFCON in 2021, which they hosted.


If there is any team that Guinea should be confident in beating, it’s Gambia. They are at just their second-ever AFCON finals and have just one player plying his trade across one of Europe's top leagues, Albie Jallow of Metz.

How far will Guinea go?

In reality, it’s tough to see how Guinea gets out of its group. It may have to defeat one of either Senegal or Cameroon to do so, which could be a huge ask. Either way, it will need one of the aforementioned nations to have a really bad tournament, as not much is expected of Gambia.

They do, however, have Serhou Guirassy, who ahead of matchday 14 in the Bundesliga has a stunning record of 16 goals from only 11 matches, which is just two behind Harry Kane’s tally.

Guirassy playing for Stuttgart
Serhou Guirassy's fitness will be key (Photo by Icon sport)

Guinea – Predicted AFCON 2023 XI


Aly Keita is the most experienced Guinean goalkeeper with 24 caps at the age of 36 and will lead out from the back once more.


Guinea's biggest strength could be their defence, as they have Montpellier left-back, Issiaga Sylla, playing alongside Saïdou Sow of Saint-Etienne. Mouctar Diakhaby tends to switch between defensive midfield and centre-back for Guinea, but he should partner Sow with Naby Oulare at right-back.


The first name on the teamsheet for Guinea is always Naby Keita, and the former Liverpool man will likely feature with RB Leipzig's Ilaix Moriba and Amadou Diawara in a midfield trio, allowing for a diverse midfield and a strong attacking front three.


Although the attention is usually on Keita, Guirassy takes the headlines after his stunning 16-goal tally from 11 Bundesliga games. The Stuttgart man will start down the middle with Lens' Morgan Guilavogui and Aguibou Camara on the wings.

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Grant McQuillan

Grant is a British sports writer based in America and was previously content head for Footy Accumulators. He has been covering football, boxing and MMA since leaving university in 2019 with a degree in Multimedia Sports Journalism.