AFCON 2019 Group A preview: Egypt, DR Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe battle continues

There are just 5 days to go until AFCON 2019 kicks off, with 24 teams for the first time in the competition’s history. Football fans all across Africa are anticipating for the tournament to start as they hope to see their nation conquer the continent.

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As always, a draw was made in order to fix all the 24 teams that qualified for the tournament into groups. After the draw, it was a mixed reaction among fans as some were happy with their group while some found their country tasked with the job of getting past the so-called big guns when it comes to the round leather game in Africa.

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Here in the article, Dailyadvent previews Group A in particular as we look out how each team will fair after the end of the group phase.

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Group A of the 2019 AFCON 2019

This group consists of Egypt, DR Congo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. It is obvious that the host nation are clear favourites in this group but we all know how football predictions have let bookmakers down when it comes to choosing a team ahead of another simply because they are favourites.

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Egypt may have qualified outrightly as the host of the competition even though they participated in the qualifying phase and they finished second in group J. They were named as hosts of the final tournament replacing Cameroon on 8 January 2019. At that time, they had already clinched a top two place in Group J and assured of qualification to the final tournament.

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Egypt have faced all their group rivals, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe, before at the Cup of Nations, winning seven matches and losing only one. DR Congo on the other hand qualified as the runner-up in Group G behind the Warriors of Zimbabwe and will be competing with each other again in the competition proper.

Uganda should have qualified for the competition without losing a game in the qualifiers but lost their last game against Tanzania who are coached by Super Eagles legend Emmanuel Amuneke.
Zimbabwe outclassed The Leopards during the qualifying stage beating them in the front of their fans in the process. The Warriors will be hoping to do so in the competition.

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Egypt | Nickname: Pharaohs | The most successful country in AFCON’s history with 7 titles

The hosts are looking to win the competition and are one of the hot favourites to do so. With star man Mohamed Salah who just won the UEFA Champions League with English Premier League side Liverpool in their ranks, the Pharaohs should be making the final on home soil.

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Players to watch: Mohamed Salah, Mohamed El Neny, Trezeguet

DR Congo | The Leopards | Won AFCON twice

They have been ranked as high as 28 in the FIFA Rankings before. As Zaire they were the first Sub-Saharan African team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup and twice won the Africa Cup of Nations (1968, 1974).

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With the likes of Cedric Bakambu and Yannick Bolasie, DRC certainly have the quality to have a real go in this tournament. They reached the quarter-finals two years ago in Gabon.
The Leopards will be drawing inspiration from their 1974 triumphs as it was being hosted by Egypt just like this year’s edition.

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Players to watch: Cedric Bakambu, Yannick Bolasie, Arthur Masuaku

Uganda | Nickname: The Cranes | AFCON Runners-up in 1978

After qualifying twice in a row, Uganda will be looking to advance at the expense of the host nation, DR Congo and Zimbabwe. After a wonderful run during the qualifiers losing just one game, the Cranes will fancy their chance to make it to the next round at all cost.

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Denis Onyango is arguably the best goalkeeper in Africa, and he will have to be at this very best if the Cranes are to stand a chance.

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Players to watch: Denis Onyango, Derrick Nsibambi, Farouk Miya

Zimbabwe | Nickname: The Warriors | 4 appearances in AFCON history
Zimbabwe qualified for the 2019 African Cup of Nations after winning Group G. They will play the opening game with the hosts, Egypt. And will then play DR Congo(who Zimbabwe beat 2-1 away in Group G) and Uganda.

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Players to watch: Knowledge Musona one of the highest goal scorer in the qualifiers with 5 goals, Khama Billiat.


Date Game Time (UK) Venue
June 22 Egypt vs Zimbabwe 10pm Cairo International Stadium
June 22 DR Congo vs Uganda 3:30pm Cairo International Stadium
June 26 Egypt vs DR Congo 9pm Cairo International Stadium
June 26 Uganda vs Zimbabwe 6pm Cairo International Stadium
June 30 Uganda vs Egypt 8pm Cairo International Stadium
June 30 Zimbabwe vs DR Congo 8pm 30 June Stadium

Egypt are obviously the clear favourites in this group and have been one of the most consistent nations in the history of AFCON, combined with that they have an incredible record against all the other three teams in the group.

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Congo DR will want to make it the fourth time in a row of making it into the knockout phase of the competition but both of them need to be wary of the challenge from Uganda and Zimbabwe.
1st – Egypt, 2nd – DR Congo, 3rd – Zimbabwe, 4th – Uganda

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Who do you think will qualify from Group A and can go all the way to win the AFCON? Share your view on this in the comment section below… Thanks