Everything you need to know about the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations: Teams, players and predictions

With Africa’s biggest soccer tournament kicking off on Sunday, we take a look at the teams, key players and predictions.

Originally scheduled for June 2021, the Africa Cup of Nations was postponed due to the effects of Covid-19.

Despite the delay, the continent's biggest biennial event is about to begin as 24 nations make their way to Cameroon.

Senegal, Algeria and Egypt are the early favourites but considering the history of this competition, you can never count anyone out.

Where is the Africa Cup of Nations being held?

Captains Vincent Aboubakar of Cameroon and Limbikani Mzava of Malawi with match officials during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Cameroon and Malawi at Olembe Stadium in Cameroon on 03 September 2021

The 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations is being held in Cameroon.

The tournament will be contested across five cities and six stadiums - including the brand new 60,000 capacity Olembe Stadium.

This is the first time the competition has been held in Cameroon since 1972. On that occasion, it was PR Congo who claimed the title after beating Mali 3-2 in the final.

When is the Africa Cup of Nations being played?

The first game of the tournament kicks off on Sunday, January 9 as Cameroon take on Burkina Faso.

Group stage games will continue until Thursday, January 20. After a three-day break, the competition will return for the knockout stage which will run from January 23 to February 6.

Who is playing in the Africa Cup of Nations?

The 24 teams in the tournament are separated into six groups. This year's edition includes some the continent's heavyweights such as Egypt, Ghana and Nigeria.

There are also two nations who will be making their debuts after successfully qualifying for the event. They are Gambia and Comoros.

Group A: Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde

Group B: Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Malawi

Group C: Morocco, Ghana, Comoros, Gabon

Group D: Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau

Group E: Algeria, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast

Group F: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia

Who are the key players at the Africa Cup of Nations?

Mohamed Salah of Egypt during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Last 16 football match between Egypt and South Africa at the Cairo International Stadium, Cairo, Egypt on 06 July 2019

Some of the world's best players will be involved in this year's edition of AFCON.

Current Premier League top scorer Mohamed Salah is arguably one of the biggest stars on show.

Others include Man City's Riyad Mahrez, Liverpool's Sadio Mane, Chelsea's Edouard Mendy, Arsenal's Thomas Partey and Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly.

How to watch the Africa Cup of Nations?

Viewers in the United Kingdom can watch all 52 games on Sky Sports. The BBC has also acquired 10 games, including both semi-finals and the final.

In the United States and Canada, it's beIN Sports who hold the exclusive rights to broadcast the tournament.

Group A

Burkina Faso

Players of Burkina Faso pose for a picture before the Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) qualifier football match between Uganda and Burkina Faso in Kitende, Uganda, March 24, 2021.

FIFA African Ranking: 11

FIFA World Ranking: 60

Manager: Kamou Malo

Squad: Goalkeepers - Herve Koffi (Charleroi, Belgium), Aboubacar Sawadogo (Kadiogo, Burkina Faso), Soufiane Farid Ouedraogo (Fuenlabrada, Spain), Kilian Nikiema (ADO Den Haag, Netherlands)

Defenders - Edmond Tapsoba (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany), Issoufou Dayo (Renaissance Berkane, Morocco), Steeve Yago (Aris Limassol, Cyprus), Oula Traore (Horoya, Guinea), Patrick Malo (Hassania Agadir, Morocco), Issa Kabore (Troyes, France), Hermann Nikiema (Salitas, Burkina Faso), Soumaila Ouattara (FUS Rabat, Morocco)

Midfielders - Adama Guira (Racing Rioja, Spain), Blati Toure (Eskilstuna, Sweden), Gustavo Sangare (Quevilly-Rouen, France), Ismahila Ouedraogo (PAOK, Greece), Dramane Nikiema (Horoya, Guinea), Saidou Simpore (Al Ittihad, Egypt), Eric Traore (Pyramids, Egypt), Cyrille Barros Bayala (AC Ajaccio, France), Hassane Bande (Istra 1961, Croatia)

Forwards - Dango Ouattara (Lorient, France), Cheick Djibril Ouattara (Olympique Safi, Morocco), Zakaria Sanogo (Ararat-Armenia, Armenia), Kouame Botue (AC Ajaccio, France), Bertrand Traore (Aston Villa, England), Abdoul Tapsoba (Standard Liege, Belgium), Mohamed Konate (Akhmat, Russia)


Cameroon team picture during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier between Mozambique and Cameroon at Grand Stade De Tanger in Morocco on 11 October 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 7

FIFA World Ranking: 50

Manager: Toni Conceicao

Squad: Goalkeepers - Simon Omossola (AS Vita Club, DR Congo), Devis Epassy (OFI Crete, Greece), Andre Onana (Ajax, Netherlands)

Defenders - Collins Fai (Standard Liege, Belgium), Olivier Mbaizo (Philadelphia Union, USA), Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui (Gent, Belgium), JC Castelletto (Nantes, France), Harold Moukoudi (St Etienne, France), Enzo Ebosse (Angers, France), Ambroise Oyongo Bitolo (Montpellier, France), Jerome Onguene (Red Bull Salzburg, Austria), Nouhou Tolo (Seattle Sounders, USA)

Midfielders - Jean Onana Junior (Bordeaux, France), Malong Kunde (Olympiakos, Greece), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Napoli, Italy), Samuel Gouet Oum (Mechelen, Belgium), Martin Hongla (Hellas Verona, Italy), James Lea Siliki (Middlesbrough, England), Yvan Neyou (St Etienne, France)

Forwards - Ignatius Ganago (Lens, France), Christian Bassogog (Shanghai Shenua, China), Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Bayern Munich, Germany), Stephane Bahoken (Angers, France), Karl Toko-Ekambi (Lyon, France), Moumi Ngamaleu (Young Boys, Switzerland), Vincent Aboubakar (Al Nasr, Saudi Arabia), Clinton Njie (Dinamo Moscow, Russia)

Cape Verde

Cape Verde Islands team picture during the 2019 WAFU Nations Cup Plate Semi Final match between Gambia and Cape Verde Islands at the Stade Lat Dior, Thies on the 08 October 2019

FIFA African Ranking: 14

FIFA World Ranking: 73

Manager: Bubista

Squad: Goalkeepers - Vozinha (AEL Limassol, Cyprus), Marcio da Rosa (Montalegre, Portugal), Keven Ramos (Mindelese, Cape Verde), Elber Evora (AEL Limassol, Cyprus)

Defenders - Stopira (Fehervar, Hungary), Steven Fortes (Oostende, Belgium), Jeffry Fortes (De Graafschap, Netherlands), Steve Furtado (Beroe, Bulgaria), Roberto Lopes (Shamrock Rovers, Republic of Ireland), Joao Paulo Fernandes (Feirense, Portugal), Diney Borges (AS Far, Morocco), Ponck (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey), Dylan Tavares (Neuchatel Xamax, Switzerland), Delmiro Nascimento (Aris Limassol, Cyprus)

Midfielders - Kenny Rocha (Oostende, Belgium), Nuno Borges (Casa Pia, Portugal), Patrick Andrade (Qarabag, Azerbaijan), Jamiro Monteior (Philadelphia Union, USA), Nenass (Aalesund, Norway), Marco Soares (Arouca, Portugal)

Forwards - Ryan Mendes (Al Nasr, UAE), Willy Semedo (Pafos, Cyprus), Gilson Tavares (Estoril-Praia, Portugal), Willis Furtado (FK Jerv, Norway), Julio Tavares (Al Faisaly, Saudi Arabia), Garry Rodrigues (Olympiakos, Greece), Lisandro Semedo (Fortuna Sittard, Netherlands), Djaniny Semedo (Trabzonsport, Turkey)


Ethiopia Team Picture during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Ethiopia held at the the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on 12 October 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 40

FIFA World Ranking: 137

Manager: Wubetu Abate

Squad: Goalkeepers - Teklemariam Shanko (Sidama Coffee, Ethiopia), Fasil Gebremichael (Bahir Dar Ketema, Ethiopia), Jemal Tassew (Adama Ketema, Ethiopia)

Defenders - Asrat Tunjo (Ethiopian Coffee, Ethiopia), Suleiman Hamid (St George, Ethiopia), Remedan Yesouf (Wolkite K, Ethiopia), Desta Yohannes (Adama K, Ethiopia), Aschalew Tamene (Fasil K, Ethiopia), Yared Bayeh (Fasil K, Ethiopia), Mignot Debebe (St George, Ethiopia), Menaf Awol (Bahir Dar K, Ethiopia)

Midfielders - Amanuel Yohannes (Ethiopian Coffee, Ethiopia), Gatuoch Panom (St George, Ethiopia), Shemeles Bekele (El Gouna, Egypt), Mesoud Mohammed (Jimma AJ, Ethiopia), Fitsum Alemu (Bahir Dar K, Ethiopia), Firew Solomon (Sidama Coffee, Ethiopia), Bezabeh Meleyou (Fasil K, Ethiopia)

Forwards - Abubeker Nassir (Ethiopian Coffee, Ethiopia), Getaneh Kebede (Wolkite K, Ethiopia), Amanuel Gebremichael (St George, Ethiopia), Shemeket Gugsa (Fasil K, Ethiopia), Mujib Kassim (JS Kabylie, Algeria), Mesfin Taffese (Hawassa K, Ethiopia), Dawa Hotessa (Adama K, Ethiopia)

Group A prediction

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting of Cameroon celebrates goal with teammate Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa

Unsurprisingly, tournament hosts Cameroon are overwhelming favourites to win this group.

Toni Conceicao has an incredible wealth of talent at his disposal - including six players who have played this season in the Champions League and Europa League.

In Andre Onana, Cameroon have one of the best goalkeepers in the competition. They're also well stacked in attack with such names as Bayern Munich's Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Lyon striker Karl Toko Ekambi and former league winner with FC Porto, Vincent Aboubakar.

The real battle in Group A will be fought over second place - and the guaranteed path to the knockout stage which comes with it.

Burkina Faso and Cape Verde are both evenly matched and their clash is expected to determine who will progress automatically.

The Stallions will be regarded as slight favourites going into the fixture considering they boast one of the continent's best defensive records.

Burkina Faso haven't lost a competitive game since January 2021 and they conceded just two goals during the AFCON qualifiers. What's more, they're also unbeaten in their World Cup qualifying group.

Last, but not least, we have Ethiopia. Wubetu Abate's men booked their ticket to the tournament at the expense of Madagascar who failed to beat bottom-of-the-group Niger in the final round of qualifying games.

As one of the lowest-ranked teams in the competition, little is expected from Ethiopia. However, that doesn't mean they should be underestimated. 

Group B


Guinea team photo during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Guinea and Morocco held at Prince Moulay Abdallah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco on 9 October 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 15

FIFA World Ranking: 81

Manager: Kaba Diawara

Squad: Goalkeepers - Aly Keita (Ostersund, Sweden), Ibrahima Kone (Hibernians, Malta), Moussa Camara (Horoya, Guinea)

Defenders - Saidou Sow (St Etienne, France), Ibrahima Conte (Niort, France), Florentin Pogba (Sochaux, France), Ousmane Kante (Paris FC, France), Mohamed Aly Camara (Young Boys, Switzerland), Pa Konate (Botev Plovdiv, Bulgaria), Issiaga Sylla (Toulouse, France), Fode Camara (Horoya, Guinea), Gaoussou Yousouf Siby (Wakrya, Guinea), Mikael Dyrestam (Sarpsborg 08, Norway)

Midfielders - Amadou Diawara (Roma, Italy), Ibrahima Cisse (Seriang, Belgium), Mory Konate (Sint-Truidense, Belgium), Ibrahima Sory Conte (Bnei Sakhnin, Israel), Ilaix Moriba (RB Leipzig), Mamadou Kane (Neftci, Azerbaijan), Morlaye Sylla (Horoya, Guinea), Aguibou Camara (Olympiakos, Greece), Naby Keita (Liverpool, England)

Forwards - Seydouba Soumah (Kuwait SC, Kuwait), Morgan Guilavogui (Paris FC, France), Mamadou Diallo (Grenoble, France), Jose Kante (Kairat, Kazakhstan), Mohamed Bayo (Clermont France), Sory Kaba (OH Leuven, Belgium)


Malawi team picture during the 2022 World Cup Qualifier match between Malawi and Cameroon on the 13 November 2021 at the Orlando Stadium

FIFA African Ranking: 35

FIFA World Ranking: 129

Manager: Mario Marinica

Squad: Goalkeepers - Ernest Kakhobwe (Nyasa Big Bullets, Malawi), William Thole (Be Forward Wanderers, Malawi), Charles Thom (Silver Strikers, Malawi)

Defenders - Lawrence Chaziya (Civo United, Malawi), Dennis Chembezi (Polokwane City, South Africa), Gomezgani Chirwa (Nyasa Big Bullets, Malawi), Peter Cholopi, Stanley Sanudi (both Be Forward Wanderers, Malawi), Mark Fodya (Silver Strikers, Malawi), Limbikani Mzava (AmaZulu, South Africa)

Midfielders - John Banda (UD Songo, Mozambique), Chikoti Chirwa (Red Lions, Malawi), Chimwemwe Idana (Nyasa Big Bullets, Malawi), Micium Mhone (Blue Eagles, Malawi), Charles Petro (Sheriff Tiraspol, Moldova)

Forwards - Peter Banda (Simba SC, Tanzania), Yamikani Chester (Be Forward Wanderers, Malawi), Zebron Kalima (Silver Strikers, Malawi), Francisco Madinga (Dila Gori, Georgia), Richard Mbulu (Baroka FC, South Africa), Frank Mhango (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Khuda Muyaba (Polokwane City, South Africa), Robin Ngalande (St George, Ethiopia)


Senegal team photo during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Senegal and Namibia held at the Lat Dior Stadium in Thies, Senegal on 9 October 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 1

FIFA World Ranking: 20

Manager: Aliou Cisse

Squad: Goalkeepers - Edouard Mendy (Chelsea, England), Alfred Gomis (Rennes, France), Seny Dieng (Queens Park Rangers, England)

Defenders - Bouna Sarr (Bayern Munich, Germany), Saliou Ciss (Nancy, France), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli, Italy), Pape Abou Cisse (Olympiakos, Greece), Abdoulaye Seck (Royal Antwerp, Belgium), Abdou Diallo (Paris Saint-Germain, France), Ibrahima Mbaye (Bologna, Italy), Fode Ballo-Toure (AC Milan, Italy), Cheikhou Kouyate (Crystal Palace, England)

Midfielders - Pape Matar Sarr (Metz, France), Pape Gueye (Marseille, France), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City, England), Idrissa Gana Gueye (Paris Saint-Germain, France), Moustapha Name (Paris FC, France), Mamadou Loum (Alaves, Spain), Joseph Lopy (Sochaux, France)

Forwards - Boulaye Dia (Villarreal, Spain), Sadio Mane (Liverpool, England), Habib Diallo (Strasbourg, France), Bamba Dieng (Marseille, France), Ismaila Sarr (Watford, England), Famara Diedhiou (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Mame Baba Thiam (Kayserispor, Turkey), Keita Balde (Cagliari, Italy)


Zimbabwe team picture during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier between Zimbabwe and Ghana the National Sports Stadium in Harare, Zimbabwe on 12 October 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 31

FIFA World Ranking: 121

Manager: Norman Mapeza

Squad: Goalkeepers - Petros Mhari (FC Platinum, Zimbabwe), Martin Mapisa (FC Zamora, Spain), Talbert Shumba (Free State Stars, South Africa)

Defenders - Peter Muduwa (Highlanders, Zimbabwe), Alec Mudimu (Torpedo Kutaisi, Georgia), Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Nkana, Zambia), Jordan Zemura (Bournemouth, England), Godknows Muriwa (Dynamos, Zimbabwe), Gerald Takwara (Venda Football Academy, South Africa), Teenage Hadebe (Houston Dynamo, USA), Bruce Kangwa (Azam, Tanzania), Onismor Bhasera (SuperSport United, South Africa)

Midfielders - Kelvin Madzongwe (FC Platinum, Zimbabwe), Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco United, Zambia), Never Tigere (Azam, Tanzania), Kudakwashe Mahachi (SuperSport United, South Africa), Ishmael Wadi (JDR Stars, South Africa), Kundai Benyu (Vestri, Iceland)

Forwards - Admiral Muskwe (Luton Town, England), Prince Dube (Azam, Tanzania), David Moyo (Hamilton Academical, Scotland), Knowledge Musona (Al Tai, Saudi Arabia), Tinotenda Kadewere (Lyon, France)

Group B prediction

Senegal's Sadio Mane alongside the trophy

Senegal are not only one of the best national teams in Africa, but they're also one of the top 20 sides in the world.

With Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly, Idrissa Gueye and Sadio Mane at their disposal, it's no surprise to see Senegal as the runaway tournament favourites.

The real question in Group B is who will take second spot. Realistically, Guinea shouldn't have too many problems against Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Kaba Diawara has plenty of talent in his squad including Liverpool's Naby Keita, AS Roma's Amadou Diawara and even one of the most sought-after January transfer targets, RB Leipzig's Ilaix Moriba.

But despite their wealth of talent, question marks remain about their recent form. Guinea haven't won a competitive game since March and come into the tournament on the back of a woeful start to their World Cup qualifying campaign - one which includes four draws and two defeats from six games.

While Malawi may lack enough quality to challenge for a place in the knockout stages, there's no reason why Zimbabwe couldn't step up and snatch second.

Despite uncertainty regarding Norman Mapeza's managerial position, this is a team desperate to pick up their first AFCON win since 2006.

Group C


Comoros team picture during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier between Egypt and Comoros at Cairo International Stadium

FIFA African Ranking: 38

FIFA World Ranking: 132

Manager: Amir Abdou

Squad: Goalkeepers - Salim Ben Boina (Endoume, France) Ali Ahamada (Unattached), Moyadh Ousseni (Frejus, France)

Defenders - Nadjim Abdou (FC Martigues, France), Bendjaloud Youssouf (Chateauroux, France), Abdallah Ali Mohamed (Stade Lausanne, Switzerland) Kassim Mdahoma (US Avranches, France), Younn Zahary (SO Cholet, France), Chaker Alhadhur (Ajaccio, France), Mohamed Youssouf (Ajaccio, France), Kassim Abdallah (Marignane Gignac, France)

Midfielders - Fouad Bachirou (Omonia Nicosia, Cyprus), Youssouf M'Changama (Guingamp, France), Yacine Bourhane (Go Ahead Eagles, Netherlands), Nakibou Aboubakari (FC Sete 34, France), Iyad Mohamed (Auxerre, France), Rafidine Abdullah (Stade Lausanne, Switzerland)

Forwards - Faiz Selemani (KV Kortrijk, Belgium), Mohamed El Fardou (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia), Nasser Chamed (Gaz Metan Medias, Romania), Ahmed Mogni (FC Annecy, France), Faiz Mattoir (SO Cholet, France), Ali M'Madi (SAS Epinal, France), Said Bakari (RKC Waalwijk, Netherlands), Moussa Djoumoi (AS Saint-Priest, France), Mohamed M'Changama (FC Nouadhibou, Mauritania)


Gabon's Aubameyang during the 2015 Orange Africa Cup of Nations

FIFA African Ranking: 19

FIFA World Ranking: 89

Manager: Patrice Neveu

Squad: Goalkeepers - Anthony Mfa Mezui (Rodange 91, Luxembourg), Donald Nze (Maniema Union, DR Congo), Jean-Noel Amonome (Uthongathi, South Africa), Junior Fortson Noubi (Vannes, France)

Defenders - Lloyd Palun (Bastia, France), Johann Obiang (Rodez, France), Bruno Ecuele Manga (Dijon, France), Gilchrist Nguema (Maccabi Ahi Nazareth, Israel), Anthony Oyono (Boulogne, France), Sidney Obissa (Olympic Charleroi, Belgium), David Sambissa (Cambuur, Netherlands), Wilfrid Ebane (Vannes, France), Junior Assoumou (Bourges, France), Yannis N'Gakoutou (Lyon-La Duchere, France)

Midfielders - Yrondu Musavu-King (Bengaluru, India), Andre Biyogo Poko (Altay, Turkey), Mario Lemina (Nice, France), Louis Ameka Autchanga (MAS Fes, Morocco), Guelor Kanga (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia), Alex Moucketou-Moussounda (Aris Limassol, Gabon), Serge-Junior Martinsson Ngouali (Gorica, Croatia), Medwin Biteghe (Al Hilal Benghazi, Libya)

Forwards - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal, England), Denis Bouanga (St Etienne, France), Ulrick Eneme-Ella (Brighton, England), Jim Allevinah (Clermont Foot, France), Aaron Boupendza (Al Arabi, Qatar), Fahd Ndzengue (Tabor Sezana, Slovenia), Kevin Mayi (Denizlispor, Turkey), Axel Meye (Ittihad Tanger, Morocco)


Ghana team picture during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Ghana and South Africa held at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast, Ghana on 14 November 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 8

FIFA World Ranking: 52

Manager: Milovan Rajevac

Squad: Goalkeepers - Jojo Wolacott (Swindon Town, England), Abdul Manaf Nurudeen (Eupen, Belgium), Richard Attah (Hearts of Oak, Ghana), Lawrence Ati Zigi (St Gallen, Switzerland)

Defenders - Andy Yiadom and Baba Rahman (both Reading, England), Philemon Baffuor (Dreams FC, Ghana), Gideon Mensah (Bordeaux, France), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City, England), Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg, France), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew, USA), Khalid Abdul Mumin (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal)

Midfielders - Baba Iddrissu (Real Mallorca, Spain), Edmund Addo (Sheriff Tiraspol, Moldova), Thomas Partey (Arsenal, England), Mubarak Wakaso (Shenzhen, China), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax, Netherlands), Daniel Kofi Kyere (St. Pauli, Germany), David Abagna (Real Tamale United, Ghana)

Forwards - Abdul Fatawu Issahaku (Dreams FC, Ghana), Samuel Owusu (Al Fayha, Saudi Arabia), Kamaldeen Suleymana (Rennes, France), Andre Ayew (Al Sadd SC. Qatar), Joseph Paintsil (Genk, Belgium), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace, England), Richmond Boakye Yiadom (Beitar Jerusalem, Israel), Maxwell Abbey Quaye (Great Olympics, Ghana), Benjamin Tetteh (Malatyaspor, Turkey)


Morocco team photo during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Sudan and Morocco held at Prince Moulay Abdallah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco on 12 November 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 2

FIFA World Ranking: 28

Manager: Vahid Halilhodzic

Squad: Goalkeepers - Yassine Bounou (Sevilla, Spain), Monir El Kajoui, (Hatayspor, Turkey), Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti (Wydad, Morocco)

Defenders - Achraf Hakimi (Paris Saint-Germain, France), Sofiane Alakouch (Metz, France), Souffian El Karouani (NEC Nijmegen, Netherlands), Adam Masina (Watford, England), Sofian Chakla (OH Leuven, Belgium), Samy Mmaee (Ferencvaros, Hungary), Romain Saiss (Wolves, England), Nayef Aguerd (Rennes, France), Badr Benoun (Al Ahly, Egypt), Mohamed Chibi (AS Far, Morocco)

Midfielders - Aymen Barkok (Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany), Sofyan Amrabat (Fiorentina, Italy), Faycal Fajr (Sivaspor, Turkey), Azzedine Ounahi (Angers, France), Ilias Chair (QPR, England), Imran Louza (Watford, England), Selim Amallah (Standard Liege, Belgium)

Forwards - Munir El Haddadi (Sevilla, Spain), Zakaria Aboukhlal (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands), Sofiane Boufal (Angers, France), Ryan Mmaee (Ferencvaros, Hungary), Youssef En-Nesyri (Sevilla, Spain), Ayoub El Kaabi (Hatayspor, Turkey), Soufiane Rahimi (Al Ain, UAE)

Group C prediction

Morocco's Achraf Hakimi (L) and Benin's Cebio Soukou battle for the ball

With three of the continent's best 20 teams drawn in one group, this is the closest you can get to a 'Group of Death'.

Morocco, who are among the favourites to win the tournament, have a tough task on their hands if they are to reach the knockout stages.

Their main rivals will be Ghana who are also among the top eight contenders for the title.

Both teams have a wealth of talent who play at some of the biggest European clubs. Morocco, for instance, boast the likes of Wolves defender Romain Saiss and PSG's Achraf Hakimi.

Ghana can boast Arsenal's Thomas Partey and Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew among their ranks.

Their head-to-head clash will be a must-see showdown, but even a win won't guarantee a place in the knockout stages.

Qualification will be determined by how the two favourites go about their business against Gabon.

While many may see them as a one-man team - with Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang at the helm - this is a side that has reached AFCON quarter-finals twice and has the potential to cause anyone problems.

The fourth team in the group are debutants, Comoros. Despite being one of the lowest ranked teams in the competition, this is a side which has lost just two international fixtures since October 2019.

While making the knockout stages may look like mission impossible, there's no reason why they couldn't pick up a couple of positive results.

Group D


Egypt 2018 World Cup team

FIFA African Ranking: 6

FIFA World Ranking: 45

Manager: Carlos Queiroz

Squad: Goalkeepers - Mohamed El-Shennawy (Al Ahly, Egypt), Mohamed Sobhi (Pharco, Egypt), Mohamed Abogabal (Zamalek, Egypt), Mahmoud Gad (Enppi, Egypt)

Defenders - Ahmed Fatouh, Mahmoud Alaa, Mahmoud Hamdy El-Wensh (all Zamalek, Egypt), Ayman Ashraf, Akram Tawfik, (both Al Ahly), Omar Kamal, Mohamed Abdel-Moneim (both Future, Egypt), Ahmed Hegazi (Ittihad Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

Midfielders - Hamdi Fathi, Amr El-Sulya (both Al Ahly, Egypt), Emam Ashour, Ahmed Sayed Zizo (both Zamalek, Egypt), Abdallah El-Said, Ramadan Sobhi (both Pyramids, Egypt), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal, England), Omar Marmoush (VfB Stuttgart, Germany), Mohanad Lasheen (Tala'a El-Gaish, Egypt), Mahmoud Hassan Trezeguet (Aston Villa, England)

Forwards - Mostafa Mohamed (Galatasaray, Turkey), Mohamed Sherif (Al Ahly, Egypt), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, England)


Guinea Bissua team photo during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Guinea-Bissau and Morocco held at Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca, Morocco on 9 October 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 24

FIFA World Ranking: 106

Manager: Baciro Candé

Squad: Goalkeepers - Jonas Mendes (Beira Mar, Portugal), Maurice Gomis (Ayia Napa FC, Cyprus), Manuel Mama Samba Balde (Vizela, Portugal)

Defenders - Nanu (FC Porto, Portugal), Fali Cande (Portimonense, Portugal), Sori Mane (Moreirense, Portugal), Leonel Ucha (Marinhense, Portugal), Simao Junior (Vilafranquense, Portugal), Opa Sangatte (Chateauroux, France), Jefferson Encada (Leixoes, Portugal), Fernandy Mendy (Alloa Athletic, Scotland)

Midfielders - Pele (AS Monaco, France), Bura (Farense, Portugal), Joao Jaquite (Vilafranquense, Portugal), Moreto Cassama (Stade de Reims, France), Alfa Semedo (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal), Panutche Camara (Plymouth Argyle, England)

Forwards - Mama Balde (Troyes, France), Piqueti (Al Shoulla, Saudi Arabia), Jorginho (Wisla Plock, Poland), Mauro Rodrigues (Sion, Switzerland), Joseph Mendes (Niort, France), Steve Ambri (Sochaux, France), Frederic Mendy (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal)


Nigeria team photo during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Liberia and Nigeria held at Stade Ibn Batouta in Tanger, Morocco on 13 November 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 5

FIFA World Ranking: 36

Manager: Augustine Eguavoen

Squad: Goalkeepers - Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), John Noble (Enyimba), Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, Netherlands), Francis Uzoho (Omonia Nicosia, Cyprus)

Defenders - Ola Aina (Torino, Italy), Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Jamilu Collins (Paderborn, Germany), Olisa Ndah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Kenneth Omeruo (Leganes, Spain), Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal), William Troost Ekong (Watford, England), Sheyi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England), Tyrone Ebuehi (Venezia FC, Italy)

Midfielders - Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Rangers, Scotland), Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Alex Iwobi (Everton, England), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England), Frank Onyeka (Brentford, England), Kelechi Nwakali (Huesca, Spain)

Forwards - Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin, Germany), Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal, Spain), Odion Ighalo (Al Shabab, Saudi Arabia), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England), Moses Simon (Nantes, France), Sadiq Umar (Almeria, Spain), Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey), Henry Onyekuru (Olympiakos FC, Greece), Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Praha, Czech Republic)


Sudan team photo during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Sudan and Morocco held at Prince Moulay Abdallah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco on 12 November 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 33

FIFA World Ranking: 125

Manager: Burhan Tia

Squad: Goalkeepers - Ali Abou Achrine, Ishag Adam (both Al Hilal, Sudan), Mohamed Mustafa (Al Merreikh, Sudan)

Defenders - Moaiad Abdeen (Alamal Atbara, Sudan), Mohamed Amin (Motala, Sudan), Elsadig Hassan (Al Shurta, Sudan), Amjed Ismail (Al Ahly Shendi, Sudan), Mustapha Abdelgader Karshoum, Salaheldin Nemer (both Al Merreikh, Sudan), Mazin Mohamedein (Tuti, Sudan), Aawad Zayed (Al Ahli Khartoum, Sudan)

Midfielders - Gomaa Abbas, Walieldin Khedr, Mustafa Elfadni, Abdelrazig Omer Yagoub (all Al Hilal, Sudan), Mohamed Al Rasheed, Dhiya Mahjoub (both Al Merreikh, Sudan), Captain Basheer (Alamal Atbara, Sudan), Mohamed Elmonzer (Al Hilal Al Obeid, Sudan), Mohamed Hassouin (Hay Al Wadi, Sudan), Mohamed Kesra, Suliman Zakaria (both Hay Al Arab, Sudan), Alsheikh Mohamed (Al Khartoum), Sharif Omar (Al Hilal Al Fasher, Sudan)

Forwards - Mohamed Abdelrahman (Al Hilal, Sudan), Musab Ahmed (Al Hilal Al Obeid, Sudan), Yasin Hamed (Nyiregyhaza Spartacus, Hungary), Algozoli Nooh (Al Merreikh, Sudan)

Group D prediction

Mohamed Salah of Egypt during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals last 16 match between Egypt and South Africa at Cairo International Stadium, Cairo, Egypt on 06 July 2019

There is only one match in Group D which is worth keeping an eye on - that is the clash between Nigeria and Egypt.

Both these teams are among the favourites to go all the way as Egypt chase an eighth crown and Nigeria target their fourth.

The man everyone will have their sights on is Mohamed Salah. The Liverpool player is the competition's biggest star, and he offers Egypt's biggest attacking threat.

Nigeria may not have one specific player leading the charge but looking at their squad, you could argue that they boast more depth.

The other two teams will be feeding for scraps as Sudan and Guinea-Bissau battle it out for a third-place finish.

Sudan, who won this tournament in 1970, are far from their best but will relish their first appearance at the event since 2012.

Guinea-Bissau, on the other hand, were involved in the last two tournaments but are yet to progress past the group stages. That's unlikely to change in Cameroon.

Group E


Algeria team photo during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Algeria and Burkina Faso held at Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in Blida, Algeria on 16 November 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 3

FIFA World Ranking: 29

Manager: Djamel Belmadi

Squad: Goalkeepers - Rais M'Bolhi (Ettifaq, Saudi Arabia), Alexandre Oukidja (Metz, France), Moustapha Zeghba (Damac, Saudi Arabia)

Defenders - Djameleddine Benlamri (Qatar SC, Qatar), Aissa Mandi (Villareal, Spain), Mohamed Amine Tougai, Ilyes Chetti, Abdelkader Bedrane (all Esperance, Tunisia), Ramy Bensebaini (Borussia Mönchengladbach, Germany), Youcef Atal (Nice, France), Houcine Benayada (Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia), Mohamed Reda Halaimia (Beerschot, Belgium), Mehdi Tahrat (Al Gharafa, Qatar)

Midfielders - Ismael Bennacer (AC Milan, Italy), Ramiz Zerrouki (FC Twente, Netherlands), Adem Zorgane (Charleroi, Belgium), Haris Belkebla (Brest, France), Sofiane Feghouli (Galatasaray, Turkey), Sofiane Bendebka (Al Fateh, Saudi Arabia)

Forwards - Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City, England), Adam Ounas (Napoli, Italy), Youcef Belaïli (Unattached), Said Benrahma (West Ham United, England), Yacine Brahimi (Al Rayyan, Qatar), Farid Boulaya (Metz, France), Islam Slimani (Lyon, France), Baghdad Bounedjah (Al Sadd, Qatar), Mohamed Amine Amoura (Lugano, Switzerland)

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea team photo during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Tunisia and Equatorial Guinea held at Olympique de Rades Stadium in Tunis, Tunisia on 3 September 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 28

FIFA World Ranking: 114

Manager: Juan Micha

Squad: Goalkeepers - Aitor Embela (Somozas, Spain), Jesus Owono (Deportivo Alaves, Spain), Manuel Sapunga (Futuro Kings, Equatorial Guinea), Mariano Magno (Deportivo Unidad, Equatorial Guinea)

Defenders - Carlos Akapo (Cadiz, Spain), Marvin Anieboh (Cacereno, Spain), Cosme Anvene (Deportivo Unidad, Equatorial Guinea), Saul Coco (Las Palmas, Spain), Miguel Angel Maye (Futuro Kings, Equatorial Guinea), Luis Meseguer (Navalcarnero, Spain), Basilio Ndong (Start, Norway), Luis Enrique Nsue (Futuro Kings, Equatorial Guinea), Esteban Obiang (Antequera, Spain)

Midfielders - Javier Akapo (Ibiza Islas Pitiusas, Spain), Alex Balboa (Deportivo Alaves, Spain), Ruben Belima, Federico Bikoro (both Hercules), Jannick Buyla (Gimnastic Tarragona, Spain), Santiago Eneme (Nantes, France), Pablo Ganet (Real Murcia, Spain), Jose Machin (Monza, Italy), Josete Miranda (Niki Volos, Greece)

Forwards - Dorian Hanza (Langreo, Spain), Luis Nlavo (Sporting Braga, Portugal), Emilio Nsue (unattached), Pedro Oba (Futuro Kings, Equatorial Guinea), Iban Salvador (Fuenlabrada, Spain), Oscar Siafa (Olympiakos Volos, Greece)

Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast team picture during the 2022 World Cup Qualifier football match between Ivory Coast and Mozambique at Stade de l'Amitie, Cotonou, Benin on 13 November 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 10

FIFA World Ranking: 56

Manager: Patrice Beaumelle

Squad: Goalkeepers - Sylvain Gbohouo (Wolkite Ketema, Ethiopia), Badra Ali Sangare (JDR Stars, South Africa), Abdoul Karim Cisse (Asec Mimosas, Ivory Coast), Ira Eliezer Tape (San Pedro, Ivory Coast)

Defenders - Serge Aurier (Villarreal, Spain), Eric Bailly (Manchester United, England), Willy Boly (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England), Wilfried Kanon (Pyramids, Egypt), Odilon Kossounou (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany), Simon Deli (Adana Demirspor, Turkey), Ghislain Konan (Reims, France)

Midfielders - Habib Maiga (Metz, France), Maxwel Cornet (Burnley, England), Serey Die (Sion, Switzerland), Ibrahim Sangare (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro (Lazio, Italy), Franck Kessie (AC Milan, Italy), Hamed Traore and Jeremie Boga (both Sassuolo, Italy), Max Gradel (Sivasspor, Turkey), Jean Michael Seri (Fulham, England)

ForwardsWilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace, England), Jean Evrard Kouassi (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal, England), Sebastien Haller (Ajax, Netherlands), Christian Kouame (Anderlecht, Belgium), Yohan Boli (Al-Rayyan, Qatar), Karim Konate (Asec Mimosas, Ivory Coast)

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone team picture during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier between Lesotho and Sierra Leone at Setsoto Stadium,Maseru,Lesotho,on 27 March 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 25

FIFA World Ranking: 108

Manager: John Keister

Squad: Goalkeepers - Mohamed N Kamara (East End Lions, Sierra Leone), Ibrahim Sesay (Bo Rangers, Sierra Leone), Isaac Caulker (FC Kallon, Sierra Leone)

Defenders - Yeami Dunia, Saidu Mansaray (both Bo Rangers, Sierra Leone), Osman Kakay (QPR, England) Kevin Wright (Unattached), Steven Caulker (Gaziantep, Turkey), David Sesay (Wealdstone, England), Umaru Bangura (Neuchatel Xamax, Switzerland), Daniel Francis (Rot Weiss Ahlen, Germany)

Midfielders - Mohamed Kamara (Unattached), John Bankole Kamara (Kesla, Azerbaijan), Abu Dumbuya (East End Lions, Sierra Leone), Saidu Bah Kamara, Prince Barrie (both Bo Rangers, Sierra Leone), Kwame Quee (Vikingur Reykjavic, Iceland), Saidu Fofana (FC Kallon, Sierra Leone), Issa Kallon (SC Cambuur, Netherlands), Idris Kanu (Peterborough United, England), Alhassan Koroma (Real Balompedica Linense, Spain)

Forwards - Musa Noah Kamara (Bo Rangers, Sierra Leone), Augustine Williams (LA Galaxy, USA), Mustapha Bundu (AGF, Denmark), Alhaji Kamara (Randers, Denmark), Sullay Kaikai (Wycombe Wanderers, England), Mohamed Buya Turay (Henan Songshan, China), Kei Ansu Kamara (HIFK, Finland)

Group E prediction

Riyad Mahrez Algeria Jul19 African Cup of Nations

Defending champions Algeria come into the tournament under a huge weight of expectation as they target their third AFCON title.

The team which includes Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez, AC Milan's Ismael Bennacer and West Ham's Said Benrahma are currently second favourites to go all the way.

Their biggest challengers in Group E are two-time winners Ivory Coast. Patrice Beaumelle has a star-studded team at his disposal and his men are expected to go far.

Ivory Coast have lost just one of their last 12 international outings - a 1-0 defeat to Cameroon last November.

This is a side which includes the current Champions League top scorer Sebastian Haller, Arsenal star Nicolas Pepe, Burnley's new saviour Maxwel Cornet, AC Milan's Franck Kessie and even Manchester United's Eric Bailly.

The other two nations in the group may find themselves a little out of their depth. Equatorial Guinea finished fourth in the event seven years ago but a lot has changed since then.

Despite entering the tournament on the back of a five-match unbeaten run - including a 1-0 win over Tunisia - their squad lacks enough quality to contend with the two big hitters.

Sierra Leone face a similar issue. This is a team which has called up players from the lower English and German leagues - including Wealdstone defender David Sesay.

Competing with Ivory Coast and Algeria will be a stretch too far, but their battle for third place with Equatorial Guinea will make for interesting viewing.

Group F


Gambia team picture before the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier between Gambia and Angola at Independence Stadium in Bakau, Gambia on 25 March 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 46

FIFA World Ranking: 150

Manager: Tom Saintfiet

Squad: Goalkeepers - Baboucarr Gaye (Rot-Weiss Koblenz, Germany), Sheikh Sibi (Virtus Verona, Italy), Modou Jobe (Black Leopards, South Africa)

Defenders - Pa Modou Jagne (FC Dietikon, Switzerland), Omar Colley (Sampdoria, Italy), James Gomez (AC Horsens, Denmark), Noah Sonko Sundberg (Ostersund, Sweden), Bubacarr Sanneh (Unattached), Ibou Touray (Salford City, England), Saidy Janko (Real Valladolid, Spain), Mohammed Mbye (Solvesborg, Sweden)

Midfielders - Ebrima Sohna (Fortune FC, The Gambia), Dawda Ngum (Bronshoj, Denmark), Sulayman Marreh (Gent, Belgium), Ebrima Darboe (Roma, Italy), Yusupha Bobb (Piacenza, Italy), Ebou Adams (Forest Green Rovers, England), Musa Barrow (Bologna, Italy), Ablie Jallow (Seraing, Belgium), Steve Trawally (Ajman, UAE), Ebrima Colley (Spezia, Italy)

Forwards - Lamin Jallow (Fehervar, Hungary), Bubacarr Jobe (Norrby, Sweden), Assan Ceesay (FC Zurich, Switzerland), Muhammed Badamosi (Kortrijk, Belgium), Modou Barrow (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, South Korea), Dembo Darboe (Shakhtyor Soligorsk, Belarus), Yusupha Njie (Boavista, Portugal)


Mali team photo during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Rwanda and Mali held at Nyamirambo Regional Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda on 11 November 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 9

FIFA World Ranking: 53

Manager: Mohamed Magassouba

Squad: Goalkeepers - Djigui Diarra (Young Africans, Tanzania), Ismael Diawara (Malmo, Sweden), Ibrahima Mounkoro (TP Mazembe, DR Congo)

Defenders - Senou Coulibaly (Dijon, France), Mamadou Fofana (Amiens, France), Massadio Haidara (Racing Lens, France), Boubacar Kiki Kouyate (Metz, France), Falaye Sacko (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal), Issiaka Samake (Horoya, Guinea), Moussa Sissako (Standard Liege, Belgium), Charles Traore (Nantes, France), Hamari Traore (Stade Rennes, France)

Midfielders - Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion, England), Mohamed Camara (RB Salzburg, Austria), Lassana Coulibaly (Salernitana, Italy), Aliou Dieng (Al Ahly, Egypt), Amadou Haidara (RB Leipzig, Germany), Romenigue Kouame (Troyes, France), Diadie Samassekou (Hoffenheim, Germany), Adama 'Noss' Traore (Hatayspor, Turkey), Hamidou Traore (Giresunspor, Turkey)

Forwards - Kalifa Coulibaly (Nantes, France), Moussa Doumbia (Stade Reims, France), Moussa Djenepo (Southampton, France), Ibrahima Kone (Sarpsborg, Norway), Lassine Sinayoko (AJ Auxerre, France), Adama "Malouda" Traore (Sheriff Tiraspol, Moldova), El Bilal Toure (Stade Reims, France)


Mauritania team photo during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Tunisia and Mauritania held at Stade Olympique de Rades in Rades, Tunisia on 7 October 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 23

FIFA World Ranking: 103

Manager: Didier Gomes Da Rosa

Squad: Goalkeepers: Babacar Diop (FC Nouadhibou, Mauritania), Mbacke Ndiaye (Nouakchott Kings, Mauritania), Mohamed El Mokhtar (AS Douanes, Mauritania)

Defenders: Abdoul Ba (Al Ahli, Libya), Diadie Diarra (Goal FC, France), El Hassen Houbeibib (Al Zawaraa, Iraq), Harouna Abou Demba (Unattached), Souleymane Karamoko (Nancy, France), Aly Abeid (Valenciennes, France), Houssen Abderrahmane (Royal Francs Borains, Belgium), Abdoulkader Thiam (US Boulogne, France)

Midfielders: Mohamed Dellah Yali (Unattached), Guessouma Fofana (Cluj, Romania), Ibrehima Coulibaly (Le Mans, France), Khassa Camara (NorthEast United FC, India), Almike Moussa Ndiaye (Goal FC, France), Yacoub Sidi Ethmane (AS Vita, DR Congo), Mohsen Bodda (FC Nouadhibou, Mauritania), Abdallahi Mahmoud (NK Istra, Croatia), Mohamed Soueid (FC Nouadhibou, Mauritania), Beyatt Lekweiry (AS Douanes, Mauritania)

Forwards: Aboubakar Kamara (Aris Thessaloniki, Greece), Hemeya Tanjy (FC Nouadhibou, Mauritania), Oumar Camara (Beroe Stara Zagora, Bulgaria), Adama Ba (RS Berkane, Morocco), Souleymane Doukara (Giresunspor Kulubu, Turkey), Idrissa Thiam (ASAC Concorde, Mauritania), Pape Ibnou Ba (Le Havre, France)


Tunisia team photo during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Tunisia and Zambia held at Hammadi Agrebi Stadium in Rades, Tunisia on 16 November 2021

FIFA African Ranking: 4

FIFA World Ranking: 30

Manager: Mondher Kebaier

Squad: Goalkeepers - Farouk Ben Mustapha (Esperance, Tunisia), Bechir Ben Said (US Monastir, Tunisia), Ayman Dahmen (Sfaxien, Tunisia), Ali Jemal (Stade Tunisien, Tunisia)

Defenders - Dylan Bronn (Metz, France), Montassar Talbi (Rubin Kazan, Russia), Bilel Ifa (Club Africain, Tunisia), Oussama Haddadi (Malatyaspor, Turkey), Omar Rekik (Arsenal, England), Mohamed Drager (Nottingham Forest, England), Mohamed Amine Ben Hamida (Esperance, Tunisia), Hamza Mathlouthi (Zamalek, Egypt), Ali Maaloul (Al-Ahly, Egypt), Ali Abdi (Caen, France)

Midfielders - Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane (Esperance, Tunisia), Aissa Laidouni (Ferencvaros, Hungary), Ellyes Skhiri (Cologne, Germany), Ghailene Chaalali (Esperance, Tunisia), Seif-Eddine Khaoui (Clermont, France), Anis Ben Slimane (Brondby, Denmark). Hannibal Mejbri (Manchester United, England), Firas Ben Larbi (Ajman, UAE), Wahbi Khazri (Saint Etienne, France), Hamza Rafia (Standard Liege, Belgium), Naim Sliti (Al-Ittifaq, Saudi Arabia)

Forwards - Seifeddine Jaziri (Zamalek, Egypt), Yoann Touzghar (Troyes, France), Youssef Msakni (Al Arabi, Qatar).

Group F prediction

Tunisia captain Wahbi Khazri celebrates scoring from a penalty during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Tunisia and Equatorial Guinea held at Olympique de Rades Stadium in Tunis, Tunisia on 3 September 2021

Out of all the groups, this one is arguably the most wide open.

Let's begin with 2004 winners and recent semi-finalists Tunisia. Mondher Kebaier's side will be looking for a better performance in the group stage compared with their efforts in 2019.

Interestingly, the last edition of AFCON also saw Tunisia, Mali and Mauritania compete in the same group.

On that occasion, Tunisia drew all three of their games on their way to a second-place finish.

Their main man is Saint Etienne's Wahbi Khazri. The forward has been single-handedly dragging his club out of trouble this season and he will have a similar role with Tunisia as they look to emulate their semi-final run from 2019.

Tunisia's main group rivals will be Mali. Manager Mohamed Magassouba has a plethora of talent to choose from, including Southampton's Moussa Djenepo and Brighton's Yves Bissouma.

Both Mali and Tunisia sealed their place in the tournament after winning their qualifying groups.

The same applies for Gambia who shocked Gabon, DR Congo and Angola on their way to the top spot.

The debutants arrive in Cameroon having won five of their last nine international outings and they will be looking to give a good account of themselves.

Manager Tom Saintfiet has assembled his 28-man squad with players who ply their trade in all four corners of the globe and across different levels too.

This is a side that will see Forest Green's Ebou Adams line up alongside AS Roma's Ebrima Darboe.

The fourth team involved are Mauritania who will be participating in their second successive AFCON.

Didier Gomes Da Rosa's men have only won one of their last 11 games and face an uphill task to progress to the knockout stage.

READ MORE: Seven players who could emerge as stars of the AFCON, including Ilaix Moriba and Kamaldeen Sulemana

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