The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations promises to be one of the biggest ever in the history, more especially that for the first time 24 teams will be going toe to toe in the expanded event.
The hosts Egypt are probably the favourites to make it out of Group A simply because they are at home and well, they have Mohammed Salah who is probably one of the best footballers in the World right now.They face Zimbabwe in the opening game on Friday 21 June, at the Cairo International Stadium with kick off set for 22:00 CAT (23:00EAT).Javier Aguirre will be pleased by the fact that the Pharaohs last Afcon triumph came on home soil in 2006.One of the most motivating factors for the host nation is the 7 titles they hold. With the likes of Hegazi, Elneny, Mohsen and Salah, Egypt’s only way is up. But that is not to say they will dominate Group A.
Zimbabwe are no push overs as they have developed into one of the most cohesive unit as seen in the qualification. Their talisman Khama Billiat is brilliant in every aspect and has goals in him. The 28 year old Kaizer Chiefs forward has 35 caps under his belt and struck 13 goals for his country.Zimbabwe have lost in all their last four meetings with Egypt but with the likes of Karuru, Hadebe, Musona and Billiat, the Warriors can still cause an upset.
The Democratic Republic of Congo equally have potency to inflict pain and suffering on the opponents.The Leopards have progressed through to the knockout stages of each of their last two AFCON Tournaments. Their mission now will be to go a step further and win the trophy again.Champions in 1968 and 1974, the DRC’s recent best finish was in 2015 when they came out third.Florent Ibengé will bank on the likes of Bolasie and Bakambu as they come face to face with the Cranes on Uganda on Saturday 22 June at the Cairo International Stadium. Kickoff is at 16:30 CAT (17:30 EAT).Uganda
The Cranes are one of the outsiders in the tournament but have the potential to go far.Sebastian Desabre can bank on Onyango, Farouk Miya, Godfrey Walusimbi and Emmanuel Okwi to help the Ugandans qualify out of the group.
Favorites to Qualify
Going by the strength of the four teams in Group A, Egypt are favourites to finish top and it will most likely be DR Congo finishing second but who is to say Zimbabwe and Uganda won’t throw their hat in the mix?
Catch all the action of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations from June 21 to July 19.