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.

Previously on AFCON group review, we discussed group A which has Egypt, Zimbabwe, DR Congo and Uganda.

In Group B, we have first timers Burundi and Madagascar, Guinea and three times champions, Nigeria

BURUNDI

Burundi, a small landlocked country in the African great lakes region in the Central Eastern Africa are participating at the AFCON for the very first time. 

The Swallows under the tutelage of coach, Olivier Niyungeko is led by former England youth international Sadio Berahino who decided to change nationality last year after representing England from U-16 o U-21 winning 47 caps. The Stoke City forward inspired the team to qualify behind Mali ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Gabon. Berahino will team up with Captain Selemani Ndikumana to give a good showing at the tournament

Full Team List

Forwards: Saido Berahino (25yrs), Selemani Ndikumana (32yrs), Fiston Abdul Razak (25years), Hussein Shabani (28yrs), Laudit Mavugo (29yrs), and Mohammed Amisi (18yrs)

Midfielders: Cedric Amissi (29yrs), Gael Bigirimana (25yrs), Elvis Kamsoba(22yrs), Gael Duhayindavyi (29yrs), Pierre Kwizera (28yrs), Enock Sabumukama (23yrs), Francis Moustapha (23yrs), Christophe Nduwarugira (24yrs), and Shassiri Nahimana (26yrs).

Defenders: Karim Nzigiyimana (29yrs), Oar Ngandu (22yrs), Federic Nsabiyumva (23yrs), and David Nshimirimana (26yrs).

Goalkeepers: Justin Ndikumana (26yrs), Jonathan Nahimana (19yrs), and Mac Arthur Arazaka (23yrs).

MADAGASCAR

The Madagascan Team known as ‘The Bareas’ alongside Burundi are also featuring at the African Nations Cup for the first time. The team managed by Nicolas Dupuis are also one of the underdogs in Group B.

The star attraction in the team include Anicet Abel of Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad who used to be on the radar of Leicester City, Marco Llaimaharita for RC Sporting Charleroi in Belgium, and Carlous Andria of Algerian side Al-Adalah FC.

Full Team list

Forwards: Carolus Andria (29yrs), Paulin Voavy (31yrs), Njiva Rakotoharimalala (26yrs), Faneva Andriatsima (35yrs), and William Gros (27yrs).

Midfielders: Anicet Abel (29yrs), Marco Ilaimahatitra (23yrs), Rayan Raveloson (22yrs), Lalaina Nomenjanahary (33yrs), Ibrahim Samuel Amada (28yrs), Andriamirado Andrianarima (28yrs), Romario Bagio (25yrs), and Dimitri Caloin (29yrs).

Defenders: Romai Metanire (29yrs), Thomas Fontaine (28yrs), Fabien Boyer (28yrs), Jerome Mombris (31yrs), Jeremy Morel (35yrs), Pascal Razakanantenaina (32yrs), and Toavina Rambeloson (26yrs).

Goalkeepers: Melvin Adrien (24yrs), Jean Randrianasolo (30yrs), and Ibrahima Dabo (26yrs).

GUINEA

Guinea is ranked 71 in the world and 13th in Africa. Known as the Sylli Nationale (National Elephants), the team is managed by Paul Put and has Liverpool’s Champions League winning midfielder Naby Keita as the star man. Other key players in the fold include, Francois Kamano, who scored 10 goals for Bordeaux in Ligue 1 last season, Ibrahima Traore of Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach, Amadou Diawara of Napoli, Mohamed Mady Camara of Olympiacos , Ibrahim Cisse of Fulham, and Simon Falette of Europa League semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt.

Full Team List

Forwards: Francois Kamano (23yrs), Ibrahima Traore (31yrs), Sory Kaba (25yrs), Idrissa Sylla (28yrs), Mohammed Yattara (25yrs), Jose Kante (28yrs), and Bengali-Fode Koita (28yrs).

Midfielders: Naby Keita (24yrs), Amadou Diawara (21yrs), Mohamed Mady Camara (23yrs), Ibrahima Cisse (25yrs), and Baissama Sankoh (27yrs).

Defenders: Simon Falette (27yrs), Issiaga Sylla (25yrs), Julian Jeanvier (27Yrs), Ernest Seka (31yrs), Fode Camara (21yrs), Mikeal Dyrestam (27yrs), and Ousmane Sidibe (34yrs).

Goalkeepers: Aly Keita (32yrs), Naby-Moussa Yattara (35yrs), and Ibrahim Kone (29yrs).

NIGERIA

The Super Eagles of Nigeria come to this tournament for the first time since their third triumph in the 2013 edition under late coach Stephen Keshi. Captain John Obi Mikel, Ahmed Musa and Kenneth Omeruo are the only surviving members of the 2013 victorious side.

The Gernat Rohr tutored side now have younger players in its fold, including Alex Iwobi of Europa League finalists, Arsenal, Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester City and Samuel Chukwueze who had a stellar breakout season with Villareal in the La Liga. Others are Samuel Kalu of Bordeaux, Ola Aina now of Seria A side, Torino and Oghenekaro Etebo of Stoke City.

Full Team List

Forwards: Samuel Kalu (21yrs), Odion Ighalo (30yrs), Victor Osimhen (20yrs), and Paul Onuachu (25yrs).

Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (22yrs), Alex Nwobi (23yrs), Ahmed Musa (26yrs), Henry Onyekuru (22yrs), Samuel Chukwueze (20yrs), Ola Aina (22yrs), Oghenekaro Etebo (23yrs), Moses Simon (23yrs), John Obi Mikel (32yrs), and John Ogu (31yrs).

Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (25yrs), William Troost-Ekong (25yrs), Chidioze Awaziem (22yrs), Leon Balogun (30yrs), and Jamilu Collins (24yrs).

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (20yrs), Daniel Akpeyi (33yrs), and Ikechukwu Ezenwa (30yrs)

In the build up to the tournament, Nigeria played a goalless draw with Zimbabwe and lost 0-1 to Senegal. Burundi drew 1-1 with Algeria before a slim 1-2 loss to Tunisia.

Guinea at the other hand lost their friendly match with Egypt, 1-3 while Madagascar lost by 0-1 to Kenya after playing out a 3-3 draw with Luxembourg earlier this month.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will play The Swallows of Burundi in the opening Group B encounter on Saturday 22nd June, while the Sylli Nationale of Guinea take on the Barrea of Madagascar. Guinea then face Nigeria on the 26th July, while Burundi tackles Madagascar on the 27th June all at the Alexandria Stadium. 

The final games of the group comes up on 30th June with the Swallows tackling the Sylli Nationales at the Al-Salam stadium while the Super Eagles face the Barrea at the Alexandria Stadium. 

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