Senegal star Sadio Mane has tipped Ghana among the top teams to battle for the ultimate prize in the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to be held in Ivory Coast next year.

Senegal, Algeria and Morocco are among 15 teams to have sealed a place for the competition but Ghana has seen their qualification delayed following a couple of unimpressive performances.

Ghana had the chance to confirm their place for the tournament in the fourth round of matches in the qualifiers but only managed a 1-1 draw with Angola in March. In their penultimate fixture, they again failed to get a win as they drew goalless with Madagascar which now means the Black Stars must avoid defeat in their final match against Central African Republic.

Despite their struggles in the qualification series, Mane who won the AFCON in 2021 with the Teranga Lions believes, Ghana can still be touted as one of the title contenders for the tournament.

“The AFCON is full of surprises, but we know the usual best teams like the hosts, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, Algeria and Cameroon,” he said, as quoted by Joueurs Cameroonais.

Having won their fourth title in 1982, Ghana have strived to get another AFCON title but to no avail while losing three finals in 1992, 2010, and 2015 respectively.

Ghana were kicked out of the group stage in both the 2021 AFCON and the 2022 World Cup.