The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) winners Algeria will see an easy draw in group E targeting the top spot they will face off with Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Group E teams share a total of four AFCON trophies won by only two sides. Algeria the defending champions have got two trophies and Ivory Coast also have two to their name.
Algeria – The Desert foxes eager to defend their throne.
The desert foxes of Algeria will be aiming to defend their throne which they won in 2019 as they defeated Senegal in the finals.
Algeria also targets on extending their unbeaten run in international games as they aim to break Italy’s 37 matches unbeaten.
Algeria is on a 34 games unbeaten run at the moment and they come into the AFCON tournament as winners of the just concluded Arab cup hosted in Qatar.
Goalkeepers: Rais Mbolhi (Al-Ettifaq, Saudi Arabia), Mustafa Zaghba (Damac, Saudi Arabia), Alexandre Oukidja (Metz, France)
Defenders: Issa Mandy (Villarreal, Spain), Abdelkader Bedrane (Esperance, Tunisia), Mehdi Tahrat (Al Gharafa, Qatar), Djamel Benlmari (Qatar, Qatar), Mohamed Amine Taugai (Esperance, Tunisia), Youcef Attal (Nice, France), Houcine Benayada (Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia), Reda Halaimia (Beerschot, Belgium), Rami Bensebaini (Borussia Monchengladbach, Germany), Ilias Chetti (Esperance, Tunisia)
Midfielders: Ramiz Zerrouki (Twente Enschede, Netherlands), Haris Belkebla (Brest, France), Sofiane Bendebka (Al-Fateh, Saudi Arabia), Adem Zorgane (Royal Charleroi, Belgium), Sofiane Feghouli (Galatasaray, Turkey) Ismail Bennacer (AC Milan, Italy)
Forwards: Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City, England), Adam Ounas (Napoli, Italy), Youcef Belaili (Unattached), Said Benrahma (West Ham United, England), Farid Boulaya (Metz, France), Yacine Brahimi (Al Rayyan, Qatar), Islam Slimani (Lyon, France), Baghdad Bounedjah (Al Sadd, Qatar), Mohamed El Amine Amoura (Lugano, Switzerland)
Head coach – Djamel Belmadi
Ivory coast – The Elephants
The elephants of Ivory Coast are under restructuring after reaching their climax in 2015 when they won the AFCON trophy in Equatorial Guinea.
They have got new kids on the block who are still mastering the dynamics of the real African type of football guided by a few senior players who are in their last times of serving international football. Players like Jean Michel Seri and Sere Die will be vital members in guiding the new generation.
The tournament will be a proving point on how Patrick Beaumelle has managed to put together his team in competing at the bigger stages.
Here is the 28 man squad at the 2021 AFCON tournament
Goalkeepers: Sylvain Gbohouo (Wolkite Ketema), Badra Ali Sangare (JDR Stars), Abdoul Karim Cisse (Asec Mimosas), Ira Eliezer Tape (San Pedro)
Defenders: Serge Aurier (Villarreal), Eric Bailly (Man Utd), Willy Boly (Wolves), Wilfried Kanon (Pyramids), Odilon Kossounou (Bayer Leverkusen), Simon Deli (Adana Demirspor), Ghislain Konan (Reims)
Midfielders: Habib Maiga (Metz), Maxwel Cornet (Burnley), Serey Die (Sion), Ibrahim Sangare (PSV Eindhoven), Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro (Lazio), Franck Kessie (AC Milan), Hamed Traore (Sassuolo), Jeremie Boga (Sassuolo), Max Gradel (Sivasspor), Jean Michael Seri (Fulham)
Forwards: Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Jean Evrard Kouassi (Trabzonspor), Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal), Sebastien Haller (Ajax), Christian Kouame (Anderlecht), Yohan Boli (Al-Rayyan), Karim Konate (Asec Mimosas
Head coach – Patrice Beaumelle
Sierra Leone – A return for the Leone Star to light
The Leon stars of Sierra Leone make a return to the AFCON tournament after a period of 26years as theyake their third appearance.
Their last participation in the AFCON tournament came in 1994 when they failed to make it past the group stages.
Coach John Keister is tasked with the target of making it out of the group stages for the very first time but can he beat competition from African giants of Algeria and ivory coast.
Keister recieved death threats after naming his final 28 man team tasked to do the job in Cameroon but he remains committed on his duties.
Here is the 28 man squad
Goalkeepers: Mohamed N Kamara (East End Lions, Sierra Leone), Ibrahim Sesay (Bo Rangers, Sierra Leone), Isaac Caulker (FC Kallon, Sierra Leone).
Defenders: Yeami Dunia, Saidu Mansaray (both Bo Rangers, Sierra Leone), Osman Kakay (QPR, England) Kevin Wright (Unattached), Steven Caulker (Gaziantep, Turkey), David Sesay (Wealdstone, England), Umaru Bangura (Neuchatel Xamax, Switzerland), Daniel Francis (Rot Weiss Ahlen, Germany).
Midfielders: Mohamed Kamara (Unattached), John Bankole Kamara (Kesla, Azerbaijan), Abu Dumbuya (East End Lions, Sierra Leone), Saidu Bah Kamara, Prince Barrie (both Bo Rangers, Sierra Leone), Kwame Quee (Vikingur Reykjavic, Iceland), Saidu Fofana (FC Kallon, Sierra Leone), Issa Kallon (SC Cambuur, Netherlands), Idris Kanu (Peterborough United, England), Alhassan Koroma (Real Balompedica Linense, Spain).
Forwards: Musa Noah Kamara (Bo Rangers, Sierra Leone), Augustine Williams (LA Galaxy, USA), Mustapha Bundu (AGF, Denmark), Alhaji Kamara (Randers, Denmark), Sullay Kaikai (Wycombe Wanderers, England), Mohamed Buya Turay (Henan Songshan, China), Kei Ansu Kamara (HIFK, Finland).
Equatorial Guinea – The National Thunder
Equatorial Guinea are also appearing at AFCON tournament for the third time and this being their very first appearance through the qualification round. The previous two appearances came as a result of being tournament hosts.
Juan Micha Obiang has based on experience most as he wants to repeat what the national thunders achieved in 2015 finishing in the fourth place as he named Emilio Nsue who is clubless at the moment.
Goalkeepers: Jesus Owono (Alaves B, Spain), Manuel Sapunga (Futuro Kings), Aitor Mbela Gil (Somozas, Spain), Mariano Mba (Deportivo Unidad)
Defenders: Carlos Akapo Martinez (Cadiz, Spain), Cosme Anvene (Deportivo Unidad), Miguel Angel Maye (Futuro Kings), Saul Basilio Coco (UD Las Palmas, Spain), Marvin Jose Anieboh (CP Cacereno, Spain), Luis Alberto Meseguer (CD Navalcanero, Spain), Luis Enrique Nsue (Cano Sport), Ruben Belima (Hercules, Spain), Esteban Fernandez Obiang (Antequera, Spain), Basilio Ndong (IK Start, Norway)
Midfielders: Javier Akapo Martinez (Ibiza, Spain), Federico Bikoro (Hercules, Spain), Santiago Bocari (Nantes B, France), Alejandro Alex Balboa (Alaves B, Spain), Dorian Hanza Junior (UP Langreo, Spain), Jose Dicombo (Monza, Italy), Pablo Ganet (Murcia, Spain), Jannick Buyla Sam (Gimnastic de Tarragona, Spain)
Forwards: Luis Miguel Nlavo (SC Braga B, Portugal), Juan Jose Oscar Siafa (Olimpacos Volou, Greece), Iban Salvador Edu (CF Fuenlabrada, Spain), Emilio Nsue Lopez (Unattached), Jose Antonio Miranda (Niki Volou, Greece), Pedro Oba Asu (Futuro Kings)
Head coach – Juan Micha Obiang