The revamped Africa Cup of Nations gets underway in Egypt on June 21 with numerous teams in with a genuine chance of winning the tournament.
First held in 1957 with just three countries competing for the trophy, this year’s competition will see 24 nations battling to be crowned the continent’s best side.
Holders Cameroon are chasing their sixth title, while Madagascar, Burundi and Mauretania are making their debut in the tournament.
The opening stage features six groups of four teams, with the top two in each progressing to the knockout stage along with the four best third-placed sides. Read on as we preview the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations:
Group A – Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe
Egypt are favourites to win the competition, although a tricky test in the round of 16 against one of Morocco, Ivory Coast or South Africa would be their reward for finishing top of Group A.
The Democratic Republic of Congo could be the surprise team of the Africa Cup of Nations, particularly with the likes of Yannick Bolasie, Jacques Maghoma, Benik Afobe and Britt Assombalongo in their squad.
Both Uganda and Zimbabwe are likely to have their work cut out against the other two sides in this group.
Group B – Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar, Burundi
Nigeria have a relatively easy task in this group, although if they fail to claim top spot they face a potential meeting with Cameroon in the round of 16.
Nigeria versus Cameroon is one of the most famous African football rivalries, with the two sides previously enjoying some epic battles in this competition.
Guinea should qualify alongside Nigeria, with debutants Burundi and Madagascar set to battle for third place in the group.
Group C – Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Tanzania
Algeria and Senegal are the two standout teams in this group, with both fancied to reach the latter stages of the tournament.
Liverpool star Sadio Mane will eager to make his mark for Senegal, while Riyad Mahrez can be expected to shine for Algeria after helping Manchester City win the Premier League title.
The two teams are expected to prove too classy for Kenya and Tanzania and could be in contention for a place in the final further down the line.
Group D – Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Namibia
Every major tournament has a ‘Group of Death’ and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is certainly no different in that respect.
Ivory Coast have reached three of the last seven finals and will be a force to be reckoned with this summer, but Morocco and South Africa have the ability to make things difficult in the group.
Whoever finishes second could face Tunisia in the next stage, while third place could meet either Egypt or Nigeria, putting even greater importance on claiming top spot.
Group E – Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Angola
Tunisia should breeze through this group, setting up a potential blockbuster clash against the runners-up of Group D in the round of 16.
Their form heading into the tournament is a worry, with defeats against Egypt, Morocco and Algeria in their last four matches suggesting they will struggle to make progress in the knockout stage.
Mali should finish second in this group, while Mauritania and Angola will be fighting for third spot and a possible place in the last 16.
Group F – Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, Guinea-Bissau
Reigning champions Cameroon are expected to qualify from this group, but they may find it difficult to prevent Ghana from claiming top spot.
Impressive young goalkeeper Andre Onana has been starring in the Ajax team that reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and should shine this summer.
However, with the likes of Asamoah Gyan, Emmanuel Agyemang and Andre Ayew in their line-up, Ghana are fancied to win the group. Benin and Guinea-Bissau look out of their depth.