The latest edition of the Africa Cup of Nations kicks off on Saturday with hosts Ivory Coast taking on Guinea-Bissau. Here are the top matches to watch on the first five days of the tournament.

The latest edition of the Africa Cup of Nations is upon us! Initially scheduled to take place in 2023, this tournament, which will be held in Ivory Coast, was delayed until this month due to harsh weather conditions.

Regardless, the wait is officially over. A total of 24 teams will battle it out for the title, with Sadio Mane's Senegal being the reigning champions. The action commences this weekend, with hosts Ivory Coast taking on Guinea-Bissau in the only game on Saturday ahead of an action-packed group stage. The opening day aside, three to four games will take place per day bar Wednesday, January 17, when only two fixtures will take place.

In this article, we take a look at the top AFCON 2023 games to watch in the first five days of the competition. However, before that, here is a quick reminder of where to catch the games live on TV and live streaming.

When does AFCON take place?

The competition kicks off on Saturday, January 13. Hosts Ivory Coast get things underway with the opening game, taking on Guinea-Bissau at 3 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. CT / 12 p.m. PT

For fans in Africa, the opening game kicks off at 23:00 Eastern Africa Time / 22:00 Central Africa Time / 21:00 West Africa Time / 20:00 GMT / 19:00 Cape Verde Time.

The Africa Cup of Nations final, meanwhile is scheduled for February 11, 2024. Likewise, the curtain closer kicks off at 3 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. CT / 12 p.m. PT. For fans in Africa, the final commences at 23:00 Eastern Africa Time / 22:00 Central Africa Time / 21:00 West Africa Time / 20:00 GMT / 19:00 Cape Verde Time.

Where can I watch AFCON 2023 games live on TV or stream?

BeIN Sports holds the U.S. broadcasting rights for the Africa Cup of Nations and will televise the games to fans via beIN Sports USA and Spanish-language channel beIN SPORTS en Español. Additionally, beIN SPORTS CONNECT is the go-to option for streaming the tournament live. Furthermore, beIN Sports USA streams are also available via fuboTV, Sling TV, and Fanatiz

For more info on when and where to watch the Africa Cup of Nations, please check our detailed broadcast guide. 

Back to the top AFCON 2023 matches to watch on January 13-17, 2024

Ivory Coast vs. Guinea-Bissau on Saturday, January 13

Ivory Coast kicks off the tournament on Saturday with an interesting showdown against Guinea-Bissau. The question on many fans' minds is whether the Elephants can win the title for the first time since 2015. The omission of Wilfried Zaha raised a few eyebrows, but Jean-Louis Gasset still boasts a handful of talented players—though this generation is not blessed with the likes of Didier Drogba and the Toure brothers. Nicolas Pepe, young RB Salzburg forward Karim Konaté, and highly-rated Sporting CP center-back Ousmane Dembele will be the ones to watch as the host aims to start off with a win.

Guinea-Bissau, on the flip side, boasts little to no household names in their roster. Nonetheless, Djurtus enter this competition on the back of a brilliant qualifying campaign, finishing only two points behind Nigeria in Group A. In fact, Baciro Candé's men lost only one game during the qualifying tournament, suffering a 1-0 defeat at home to the Super Eagles, a result which was offset by their memorable 1-0 victory at the Abuja National Stadium. Don't miss this showdown.

Here are their rosters:

Ivory Coast, Africa Cup of Nations, Roster 

Guinea-Bissau, Africa Cup of Nations, Roster

Nigeria vs. Equatorial Guinea on Sunday, January 14

As mentioned earlier, Nigeria won Group A of the qualifying round to book their ticket to Ivory Coast and will be gunning for the title in this highly-anticipated tournament. All eyes will be on star striker Victor Osimhen, who we named in our list of players to watch at AFCON 2023, as he looks to guide his nation to the title only a few months after leading Napoli to the Serie A crown. Victor Boniface was sadly ruled out for this tournament; however, the team is winless in their last three games, thus raising questions over their manager José Peseiro.

Equatorial Guinea, on the other hand, has suffered a few hiccups recently but should take confidence from their brilliant qualifying campaign. Juan Micha's men were drawn alongside Tunisia in Group J and lost only one game. And that's not all as Nzalang Nacional finished level on points with the North African nation. However, Sunday's showdown with Nigeria should present them with a completely different test.

Here are their rosters:

Nigeria, Africa Cup of Nations, Roster 

Equatorial Guinea, Africa Cup of Nations, Roster

Senegal vs. Gambia on Monday, January 15

After winning the Africa Cup of Nations title for the first time in 2022, could Senegal become the first team since Egypt back in 2006-2010 to lift this trophy in consecutive tournaments? This will be the goal for the Lions of Teranga as they will look to Saudi Pro League trio Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Sadio Mane to continue their international form. The title holders are unbeaten in their last four games, winning all but one, and will look to add the Gambia to their list of victims.

The Gambia, however, enters AFCON 2023 on a three-game winless streak. While they beat out competition from Congo to qualify for this tournament, the Scorpions have been grouped alongside Senegal and Cameroon and will be in for a rough test.

Here are their rosters:

Senegal, Africa Cup of Nations, Roster 

Gambia, Africa Cup of Nations, Roster

Cameroon vs. Guinea on Monday, January 15

Cameroon kicks off their campaign a few hours after Senegal, locking horns with Guinea in an interesting showdown at the Stade Charles Konan Banny de Yamoussoukro. The Indomitable Lions were the hosts in 2022 but suffered heartbreak at the semifinals, crashing out at the hands of eventual runners-up Egypt. The continental giants will sadly be without Bryan Mbeumo, who is injured, while Eric Choupo-Moting was surprisingly left out of the roster, thus leaving much on the shoulders of veteran striker Vincent Aboubakar.

Guinea, meanwhile, should give both the Indomitable Lions and Senegal a run for their money in Group C. In the last 12 editions of AFCON, the National Elephants have only failed to make it out of the group stage just once and will be looking to in-form Bundesliga hitman Serhou Guirassy for inspiration.

Here are their rosters:

Cameroon, Africa Cup of Nations, Roster 

Guinea, Africa Cup of Nations, Roster

Morocco vs. Tanzania on Wednesday, January 17

And finally, we have one of, if not the favorites for the tournament. Morocco kicks off their campaign on Wednesday as they go in search of continental glory following their historic 2022 FIFA World Cup run. The Atlas Lions became the first African and Arab team to reach the World Cup semifinals, beating Spain and Portugal in Qatar before eventually losing to France in the penultimate round. Tanzania is their first opponent, and if Walid Regragui's side is to win this title for the first time in nearly 50 years, a victory in their opener is a must.

Here are their rosters:

Morocco, Africa Cup of Nations, Roster