The draw for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations took place in Libreville on Wednesday night, with the Confederation of African Football setting out the groups from which the 16 teams will attempt to progress to the knockout stages.
The draw unveiled some highly-anticipated battles among the teams who will be vying for the African title in January and February next year in Gabon.
The four Gabonese cities of Libreville, Franceville, Oyem and Port Gentil will host the AFCON matches, with each city providing a base for one of the four groups.
In Group A hosts Gabon have been placed alongside fellow West African nations Burkina Faso and tournament debutants Guinea Bissau, as well as Central African powerhouse side Cameroon. The sides will play their matches in Libreville.
Group B sees two North African giants clashing in Franceville, as Tunisia and Algeria prepare to test their might against the Teranga Lions of Senegal and the Warriors of Zimbabwe, taking part in only their third AFCON competition.
Oyem will welcome current AFCON champions Côte d’Ivoire, as the Elephants attempt to defend their crown in a Group C that contains the likes of DR Congo, Morocco and Togo.
Group D looks an awful lot like a 2018 World Cup qualifying Group E, as Ghana, Egypt and Uganda reunite as AFCON challengers, with Mali thrown into the mix in Port Gentil. Uganda returns to the AFCON after a 39-year absence, and they will be keen to progress from a group that contains 2015 AFCON runners-up, Ghana.
While all four groups will no doubt be highly competitive in Gabon come early 2017, Group B is my pick as the group of death. The strikers available to do battle for Algeria and Senegal are among the best in the world, let alone the continent, and Tunisia is always up for a challenge at Nations Cups.
Zimbabwe will have a tough time, and they will not likely move forward from the group stage, but their opponents will be a force going on to the knockout rounds of the tournament. The all out attacking clash between Senegal and Algeria will be a special treat for fans and neutrals alike.
The 2017 AFCON Draw Results