Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, The Gambia
Wednesday, 12 January
Africa Cup of Nations
‘The best day of my life’ - Mane savours AFCON triumph with Senegal
- Tunisia v Mali
- Mauritania v The Gambia
Sunday, 16 January
- The Gambia v Mali
- Tunisia v Mauritania
Thursday, 20 January
- The Gambia v Tunisia
- Mali v Mauritania
Speaking of Tunisia, the Arab Cup runners up could also be dark horses to reach the latter stages in Cameroon.
Mondher Kebaier’s well-drilled side can call on the experience of captain Wahbi Khazri and keeper Farouk Ben Mustapha but also have the exciting prospect of Manchester United youngster Hannibal Mejbri among their ranks, despite the player yet to fully breakthrough at Old Trafford.
Hannibal impressed in the Arab Cup run at the end of 2021 and will be expected to carry that form into the Cup of Nations.
Their opener against Mali ought to be an intriguing encounter with the Eagles in the ascendancy at present.
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As well as topping their qualifying group for the Cup of Nations, Mali also recently stormed into the World Cup playoffs with an unbeaten record and are potentially just two games away from Qatar.
Before that however, they will look to make impression in Cameroon and hoping to aid with that are Southampton’s Moussa Djenepo and Adama Traore (not that one!) who was part of the Sheriff Tiraspol side which famously beat Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk – scoring against the latter - in this year’s Champions League.
Having failed to qualify previously, Mauritania make their second consecutive appearance in the tournament after competing in Egypt in 2019.
Incidentally, on that occasion they also faced Tunisia and Mali in the group stage, drawing with the former but losing to the latter.
With debutants The Gambia, the lowest ranked side in the tournament, making up the group, a first ever finals win for Mauritania in their opening game - and ultimately a chance at third place - is not out of the question.
Goalkeepers: Farouk Bin Mustapha (Esperance, Tunisia), Bechir Ben Said (US Monastir, Tunisia), Ayman Dahmen (Sfaxien, Tunisia), Ali Jemal (Stade Tunisien, Tunisia).
Defenders: Dylan Bronn (Metz, France), Montassar Talbi (Rubin Kazan, Russia), Bilel Ifa (Club Africain, Tunisia), Oussama Haddadi (Malatyaspor, Turkey), Omar Rekik (Arsenal, England), Mohamed Drager (Nottingham Forest, England), Mohamed Amine Ben Hamida (Esperance, Tunisia), Hamza Mathlouthi (Zamalek, Egypt), Ali Maaloul (Al-Ahly, Egypt), Ali Abdi (Caen, France).
Midfielders: Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane (Esperance, Tunisia), Aissa Laidouni (Ferencvaros, Hungary), Ellyes Skhiri (Cologne, Germany), Ghailene Chaalali (Esperance, Tunisia), Seif-Eddine Khaoui (Clermont, France), Anis Ben Slimane (Brondby, Denmark). Hannibal Mejbri (Manchester United, England), Firas Ben Larbi (Ajman, UAE), Wahbi Khazri (Saint Etienne, France), Hamza Rafia (Standard Liege, Belgium), Naim Sliti (Al-Ittifaq, Saudi Arabia).
Forwards: Seifeddine Jaziri (Zamalek, Egypt), Yoann Touzghar (Troyes, France), Youssef Msakni (Al Arabi, Qatar).
Goalkeepers: Djigui Diarra (Young Africans, Tanzania), Ismael Diawara (Malmo, Sweden), Ibrahima Mounkoro (TP Mazembe, DR Congo).
Defenders: Senou Coulibaly (Dijon, France), Mamadou Fofana (Amiens, France), Massadio Haidara (Racing Lens, France), Boubacar Kiki Kouyate (Metz, France), Falaye Sacko (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal), Issiaka Samake (Horoya, Guinea), Moussa Sissako (Standard Liege, Belgium), Charles Traore (Nantes, France), Hamari Traore (Stade Rennes, France).
Midfielders: Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion, England), Mohamed Camara (RB Salzburg, Austria), Lassana Coulibaly (Salernitana, Italy), Aliou Dieng (Al Ahly, Egypt), Amadou Haidara (RB Leipzig, Germany), Romenigue Kouame (Troyes, France), Diadie Samassekou (Hoffenheim, Germany), Adama 'Noss' Traore (Hatayspor, Turkey), Hamidou Traore (Giresunspor, Turkey).
Forwards: Kalifa Coulibaly (Nantes, France), Moussa Doumbia (Stade Reims, France), Moussa Djenepo (Southampton, France), Ibrahima Kone (Sarpsborg, Norway), Lassine Sinayoko (AJ Auxerre, France), Adama "Malouda" Traore (Sheriff Tiraspol, Moldova), El Bilal Toure (Stade Reims, France).
Goalkeepers: Babacar Diop (FC Nouadhibou, Mauritania), Mbacke Ndiaye (Nouakchott Kings, Mauritania), Mohamed El Mokhtar (AS Douanes, Mauritania).
Defenders: Abdoul Ba (Al Ahli, Libya), Diadie Diarra (Goal FC, France), El Hassen Houbeibib (Al Zawaraa, Iraq), Harouna Abou Demba (Unattached), Souleymane Karamoko (Nancy, France), Aly Abeid (Valenciennes, France), Houssen Abderrahmane (Royal Francs Borains, Belgium), Abdoulkader Thiam (US Boulogne, France).
Midfielders: Mohamed Dellah Yali (Unattached), Guessouma Fofana (Cluj, Romania), Ibrehima Coulibaly (Le Mans, France), Khassa Camara (NorthEast United FC, India), Almike Moussa Ndiaye (Goal FC, France), Yacoub Sidi Ethmane (AS Vita, DR Congo), Mohsen Bodda (FC Nouadhibou, Mauritania), Abdallahi Mahmoud (NK Istra, Croatia), Mohamed Soueid (FC Nouadhibou, Mauritania), Beyatt Lekweiry (AS Douanes, Mauritania).
Forwards: Aboubakar Kamara (Aris Thessaloniki, Greece), Hemeya Tanjy (FC Nouadhibou, Mauritania), Oumar Camara (Beroe Stara Zagora, Bulgaria), Adama Ba (RS Berkane, Morocco), Souleymane Doukara (Giresunspor Kulubu, Turkey), Idrissa Thiam (ASAC Concorde, Mauritania), Pape Ibnou Ba (Le Havre, France).
Goalkeepers: Baboucarr Gaye (Rot-Weiss Koblenz, Germany), Sheikh Sibi (Virtus Verona, Italy), Modou Jobe (Black Leopards, South Africa).
Defenders: Pa Modou Jagne (FC Dietikon, Switzerland), Omar Colley (Sampdoria, Italy), James Gomez (AC Horsens, Denmark), Noah Sonko Sundberg (Ostersund, Sweden), Bubacarr Sanneh (Unattached), Ibou Touray (Salford City, England), Saidy Janko (Real Valladolid, Spain), Mohammed Mbye (Solvesborg, Sweden).
Midfielders: Ebrima Sohna (Fortune FC, The Gambia), Dawda Ngum (Bronshoj, Denmark), Sulayman Marreh (Gent, Belgium), Ebrima Darboe (Roma, Italy), Yusupha Bobb (Piacenza, Italy), Ebou Adams (Forest Green Rovers, England), Musa Barrow (Bologna, Italy), Ablie Jallow (Seraing, Belgium), Steve Trawally (Ajman, UAE), Ebrima Colley (Spezia, Italy).
Forwards: Lamin Jallow (Fehervar, Hungary), Bubacarr Jobe (Norrby, Sweden), Assan Ceesay (FC Zurich, Switzerland), Muhammed Badamosi (Kortrijk, Belgium), Modou Barrow (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, South Korea), Dembo Darboe (Shakhtyor Soligorsk, Belarus), Yusupha Njie (Boavista, Portugal).
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