AFCON 2019: Group E Teams Analysis, Strength, Sleekness and Standout Stars

1 year ago by: Olusanya Akinrinola
-- Online (m) at 21-06-2019 09:19PM

(6500 | Gistmaniac)


The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is upon us, with 24 teams competing for glory in Egypt.

Cameroon return as defending AFCON champions, having beaten Egypt 2-1 in the 2017 final.

The Indomitable Lions are out to defend their crown, but will face renewed pressure from hosts Egypt, who boasting Mohamed Salah still flying high after his Champions League triumph with Liverpool.

However, Salah's Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane is also in with a shout of glory with Senegal heavily backed to lift the trophy.

Here's what you need to know for the upcoming drama...
Egypt will stage the competition from June 21 until July 19. Six venues across four cities will be used, with three stadia in Cairo and one each in Alexandria, Suez and Ismailia.

The 74,100-capacity Cairo International Stadium will host the final and the opening match. Cameroon were initially selected as hosts but were stripped of the responsibility in November by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) because "a number of compliance conditions" had not been met.

The start of the tournament was also pushed back six days to allow players to rest after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Teams
Egypt, Madagascar, Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco, Nigeria, Uganda, Mali, Guinea, Algeria, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Ghana, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau, Namibia, Zimbabwe, DR Congo, Benin, Tanzania, South Africa

Which Premier League stars are involved?
Liverpool trio Salah (Egypt), Mane (Senegal), and Naby Keita (Guinea) will be among the Premier League talent on display.
Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha and Tottenham full-back Serge Aurier have been included in Ivory Coast's squad, while Manchester City title-winner Riyad Mahrez is Algeria's star man.

Other top-flight players involved include Arsenal's Alex Iwobi (Nigeria), Spurs midfielder Victor Wanyama (Kenya), and Everton's Idrissa Gueye (Senegal).

Since the last competition in 2017, the biennial tournament has been expanded from 16 teams to 24. It will follow a similar format to Euro 2016. Countries have been drawn into six groups of four and will face each group opponent once.

The top two teams are guaranteed places in the knockout stages, while the four best third-place teams will also progress. The tournament will be played in Europe's summer for the first time.

It has previously been held in January and February, causing disputes with European clubs who lose players during the season.

Groups
The top two teams from each group will go through to the knockout stages, along with the top four third-placed teams.
GROUP E: TUNISIA, MALI, MAURITANIA, ANGOLA

On paper, at least, it looks like it will be likely Mali and Tunisia battling it out for top spot with Angola looking to have a say while Mauritania will only hope to get off the mark in their first ever tournament.

TUNISIA

The Carthage Eagles’ best result was winning their first and only to date AFCON title in 2004. They also earned a runners-up spot in 1965 and 1996. Arguably, Tunisia are among the most experienced sides in Egypt as they will be making their 19th appearance.

They will be hoping to improve on their performances from 2015 and 2017 during which they exited at the quarter-finals stage.

MALI

To date, Mali’s best ever AFCON finish was securing a runners-up berth in 1972 which was their debut. The Les Aigles also earned consecutive third-place finishes in 2012 and 2013 but failed to qualify from the group stage in their last two participations in 2015 and 2017.

This summer will be their 11th appearance and it will be very interesting to see if they can take advantage of a relatively easy group and avoid an early exit for the third straight time.

MAURITANIA

Mauritania will be featuring at their first ever AFCON finals, and they will again face familiar foes Angola who beat them to top spot in their qualification group.

The small nation will have high hopes in their debut AFCON but arguably with Tunisia and Mali in the same group, the odds are heavily stacked against them.

ANGOLA

Angola come into this competition as winners of Group I qualification. The Palancas Negras’ best result to date are two quarter-finals finishes in 2008 and 2010.

Having failed to qualify for the last two editions, Angola will be featuring for the eighth time after making their debut in 1996.
Pos   Team   P   W   D   L   GD   Pts
1   Tunisia   0   0   0   0   0   0
2   Mali           0   0   0   0   0   0
3   Mauritania   0   0   0   0   0   0
4   Angola   0   0   0   0   0   0