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The 2012 Afcon takes place from 21 January to February 12, and it is to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Some teams will be experiencing their first participation at the competition, while others will be aiming to write their names in the record books as Africa's best when the final takes place at the Stade d'Angondje in Libreville on February 12.
Goal.com introduces you to the 16 teams that will be taking part in this highly-anticipated competition. Here we profile the Palancas Negras of Angola.
||1996, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010|
||Quarterfinals: 2008, 2010|
|HOW THEY QUALIFIED FOR AFCON 2012
GROUP J WINNER
The Palancas Negras did not allow their 3-0 defeat against Uganda in the opener of their qualifying campaign to dash their hopes. The 2010 Afcon hosts picked themselves up against Guinea-Bissau in their second game, but lost again in their third match to eastern African side Kenya. In the final round, the Black Antelopes recorded a clean sheet against all three opponents to top the group on 12 points to qualify.
|LITO VIDIGAL | Coach
The former Angola defender is the fourth coach of the national team in the last 15 months. The 41-year-old has vast experience in Europe and he is the first African international to coach a European first division club. He spent most of his football and coaching career in Portugal. The former coach of Uniao Leiria has passed his first test, qualifying his side to the tournament finals and he is expected to shine in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
|ANDRE MACANGA | Captain
The 33-year-old has been with the team since 1999 and was part of the squad that represented the oil-rich country at the World Cup in Germany 2006. His nickname 'The Defensive Lung' is a good description of a player who wards off his opponents to ensure that his goal is clear of danger. He comes with a great deal of experience and more will be expected from him.
|MANUCHO | Star Player
The 28-year-old has been immense throughout the qualifying campaign and scored four of their seven goals. Manucho is not new to the tournament and is well known for scoring spectacular goals in the 2008 and 2010 editions. During his days at Manchester United, coach Sir Alex Ferguson described him as a "tall, agile, quick forward”.
|DJALMA | Young Talent
The 24-year-old has featured in most of the games leading up to the Afcon finals in 2012. The Porto striker has been a perfect partner to Manucho in attack and could be a candidate for Young Player of the Tournament.
|PROBABLE STARTING XI
Lito Vidigal could opt in for the customary 4-4-2 formation, which seems to have worked well for the team in the past, relying on Manucho and Djalma to score with support from a packed midfield.
Francisco Zuela, Dany, Mingo Bile, André Macanga
Dédé, Gilberto, Miguel Quiame, Mateus