Several of the Africa’s biggest teams will be confident after receiving favourable group-stage draws in Friday’s ceremony outside Cairo
- The draw for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals was officially conducted in the shadow of the Pyramids of Giza, Cairo on Friday, with the six groups throwing up some exciting.
The expanded 24-team tournament will take place in Egypt in June and July 2019.
South Africa have been drawn in the Group of Death, and Stuart Baxter’s men will have to face off against fellow former Afcon winners Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire in Group D.
Minnows Namibia complete the group, and will renew hostilities with Bafana Bafana after the duo were pitted against each other in the 1998 Nations Cup.
The hosts, pitted in Group A before the draw, have been handed a tough assignment, and will open the tournament against Zimbabwe, before meetings with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
The Cranes qualified for their first Afcon tournament in almost four decades two years ago, where they were defeated by Egypt in Gabon.
Holders Cameroon will meet Ghana in a replay of the 2017 semi-final, with Benin and Guinea-Bissau completing Group F.
Nigeria should be relatively happier with their opponents, with debutants Burundi and Madagascar joining them and Guinea in Group B.
In Group C, Senegal and Algeria are strong favourites to progress after being drawn against East African rivals Tanzania and Kenya, neither of whom can be taken for granted after impressive qualifying campaigns.
Angola and Mauritania have their work cut out after being drawn against Mali and Tunisia in Group E, although they will be buoyed by the fact that four of the six best placed third-placed teams will progress.
Afcon 2019 group-stage draw:
Group A: Egypt, Zimbabwe, DR Congo, Uganda
Group B: Burundi, Madagascar, Guinea, Nigeria
Group C: Tanzania, Algeria, Kenya, Senegal
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Group D: South Africa, Namibia, Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco
Group E: Angola, Mauritania, Mali, Tunisia
Group F: Guinea-Bissau, Benin, Ghana, Cameroon.