Who will the Taifa Stars draw?
Under Emmanuel Amunike, Tanzania impressed during qualification, smashing Uganda in their final match to ensure progress. However, after being pitted in Pot Four before the draw, they face an unenviable task to progress to the knockouts.
Ahead of the draw, Ed Dove assesses the best and worst case scenarios for the Taifa Stars, as four pots become six groups.
The possible candidates
Pot One – Egypt are the team that everyone will be desperate to avoid when Friday’s draw rolls around. While the Pharaohs may have endured a disappointing World Cup, they’ve bounced back under Javier Aguirre and will take confidence from November’s 3-2 home victory over Tunisia.
Unlike in Russia, they should have Mohamed Salah—Africa’s best player—fit and firing for the tournament itself, and home support—they’ll play all three group games in Cairo—makes them a fearsome prospect.
Best case scenario might be Cameroon, who haven't been entirely convincing since Clarence Seedorf took the helm, and were recently held by the tiny Comoros Islands.
The best preferred candidate ...
It would be a fascinating East African derby for the neutral, but could Amunike’s troops break down a backline that didn’t concede in their first five qualifiers?
Best case scenario? Possibly Madagascar, will the debutants be able to replicate their qualifying heroics at the tournament proper?
Their recent 2-0 defeat by Senegal - a comfortable win for the Teranga Lions - might be a fairer reflection of their quality.