The 32nd edition of the Total African Cup of Nations, which will kick-off on the 21st of June has a total of six groups; A, B, C, D, E, and F. The SaharaReporters Sport team brings you group review and what to expect from each team.
Group A – Egypt, DR Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe
The Egyptian national football team, nicknamed The Pharaohs, is the most successful team in the history of African football, having won the African Cup of Nations seven times.
The host team, Egypt, will be aiming to once again lift the trophy to end their 19 years wait. Currently ranked 58 in FIFA World ranking, the Egyptian team would be hoping to have a wonderful outing at their home soil when the competition kick-off.
Javier Aguirre will be leading a team of mostly home based players with a mix of European experience to the AFCON2019.
Goalkeepers: Ahmed El-Shennawy (Pyramids FC), Mohamed El-Shennawy (Al Ahly), Mahmoud Gennesh (Zamalek).
Defenders: Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa), Baher El-Mohamady (Ismaily), Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion), Mahmoud Alaa, Mahmoud Hamdy El-Wensh (Zamalek), Ahmed Ayman Mansour, Omar Gaber (Pyramids FC), Ayman Ashraf (Al Ahly).
Midfielders: Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Ali Ghazal (C.D. Feirense), Nabil Emad Dunga, Abdallah El-Said (Pyramids FC), Walid Soliman (Al Ahly), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Mahmoud Hassan Trezeguet (Kasimpasa), Amr Warda (Atromitos).
Strikers: Ahmed Ali (Arab Contractors), Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Ahmed Hassan Kouka (Olympiacos).
The team would be counting on the experience of Mohammed Salah and Ahmed Hassan, who both have a total of 43 goals to their names.
Democratic Republic of Congo located at central sub-Saharan Africa will be making their 19th appearances at the African Cup of Nations in Egypt. The Leopards were eliminated at the quarterfinals at the last outing in Gabon.
DR Congo last won the trophy in 1974 while their best outing after that was in Equatorial Guinea 2015 when they finished at the third place.
Coach Florent Ibenge would be hoping to have a wonderful outing in Egypt and reach the final of the competition.
Goalkeepers: Parfait Mandanda (Dinamo Bucharest, Romania), Anthony Mossi (Chiasso FC, Switzerland), Ley Matampi Vumi (Al Ansar Club Medina, Saudi Arabia)
Defenders: Djuma Shabani and Glody Ngonda Muzinga (both AS Vita Club), Issama Mpeko (TP Mazembe), Christian Luyindama Nekadio (Galatasaray, Turkey), Arthur Masuaku (West Ham, England), Wilfred Moke Abro (MKA Ankaragucu, Turkey), Marcel Tisserand (Wolfsburg, Germany), Merveille Bope Bokadi (Standard Liege, Belgium), Beaudrick Ungenda (Primeiro Do Agosto, Angola)
Midfielders: Chadrac Akolo (Stuttgart, Germany), Paul-Jose Mpoku (Standard Liege, Belgium), Chancel Mbemba Mangulu (Porto, Portugal), Tresor Mputu (TP Mazembe), Youssouf Mulumbu (Kilmarnock, Scotland), Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City, England)
Forwards: Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough, England), Cederic Bakambu (Beijing Guoan, China), Yannick Bolasie (Everton, England), Jonathan Bolingi Mpangi (Antwerp, Belgium), Elia Lina Meschack (TP Mazembe).
The two-time African champions will begin their AFCON journey against Uganda on June 22, thereafter playing hosts Egypt and Zimbabwe on June 26 and June 30, respectively.
Currently sitting at the 80th position in the FIFA ranking, the Uganda team is yet to make it out of the group stage since 1978 when the team finished second.
The last appearance at the Nations Cup was in 2017 when they were eliminated at the group stage. Before then, Uganda has failed to qualify for AFCON between 1992 and 2015. The other time Uganda appeared at AFCON was in 1978.
Coach Sebastien Desabre had made a list of 23 Uganda Cranes to hoist the flag of Uganda and do the country proud when the competition kicks-off in Egypt.
Goalkeepers: Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Jamal Salim (Al Hilal-Sudan), Robert Odongkara (Adama City, Ethiopia)
Defenders: Nico Wakiro Wadada (Azam, Tanzania), Brian Ronald Ddungu Mukiibi (Ostersunds, Sweden), Murushid Jjuuko (Simba, Tanzania), Bevis Mugabi (Yeovil Town, England), Isaac Muleme (FK Viktoria Zizkov, Czech Republic), Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (Un-attached), Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Timothy Denis Awanyi (KCCA FC, Uganda), Godfrey Walusimbi (Un-attached)
Midfielders: Mike Azira (Montreal Impact, Canada), Allan Kateregga (Maritzburg, South Africa), William Kizito Luwagga (Shakhter Karagandy, Kazakhstan), Khalid Aucho (Church Hill Brothers, India), Faruku Miya (HNK Gorica, Croatia), Abdul Lumala (Syrianska, Sweden), Tadeo Lwanga (Vipers SC-Uganda)
Strikers: Patrick Henry Kaddu (KCCA FC, Uganda), Derrick Nsibambi (Smouha, Egypt), Allan Kyambadde (KCCA FC Uganda), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Simba, Tanzania)
The Cranes has very little chance of making it past the group stage but they would hope to stun Africa by pulling a remarkable match in Egypt.
Nicknamed The Warriors, Zimbabwe has never made it beyond the group stage of AFCON.
Ranked 109 in FIFA World ranking and 26 in Africa, Zimbabwe would hope to break the group stage jinx.
At the AFCON 2017, Zimbabwe failed to win a match. However, the team looks stronger after winning Group G to qualify for the competition in Egypt.
The Warriors will play the opening game with the hosts, Egypt before locking horns with DR Congo and Uganda.
Goalkeepers: George Chigova (Polokwane City), Edmore Sibanda (Witbank Spurs), Elvis Chipezeze (Baroka)
Defenders: Jimmy Dzingai (Power Dynamos), Alec Mudimu (CEFN Druids), Teenage Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs), Divine Lunga (Golden Arrows), Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic), Tendai Darikwa (Nottingham Forest)
Midfielders: Danny Phiri (Golden Arrows), Marshall Munetsi (Orlando Pirates), Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge), Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Azam), Ovidy Karuru (AmaZulu), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Orlando Pirates), Talent Chawapihwa (AmaZulu), Thabani Kamusoko (Young Africans).
Forwards: Knowledge Musona (Anderlecht), Nyasha Mushekwi (Dalian Yifang), Evans Rusike (SuperSport United), Tinotenda Kadewere (Le Havre), Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows).