In our 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Groups Preview series, Ismael Kiyonga takes a look at group E that has debutants Mauritania pooled along with Angola, Mali and one time winners Tunisia.
Who will make it count in this evenly balanced group?
Nickname: The Eagles (Les Aigiles)
Coach: Mohamed Magassouba
Best Performance: Runners up (1972)
Key Player: Moussa Marega (FC Porto)
Strengths: The Eagles attacking approach is a threat to any opponent and they are capable of scoring goals.
Weaknesses: A caretaker coach in Mohamed Magassouba and preparations affected by a pending ban from FIFA could have an adverse effect on the Eagles.
Nickname: Palancas Negras
Coach: Srdjan Vasilijevic
Best Performance: Quarter finals (2006 & 2010)
Key Player: Djalma Campos (Alanyaspor)
Strengths: The Palacas Negras play with flair with a mix of Portuguese and Brazilian style and are always hard to beat in terms of possession. They come into the tourney in top form with just a single defeat against five wins in the last six games.
Weaknesses: The current squad doesn’t have a lot of big match winners save for Marega whose international goal return isn’t as satisfying either.
Nickname: The Carthage Eagles
Coach: Alain Giresse
Afcon Appearances: 19
Best Performance: Champions (2004)
Key Player: Youssef Msakni
Strengths: There is too much experience in the Tunisian side in all departments and playing in North Africa is closer to home.
Weaknesses: They always fail at the bigger stage and their defence easily leaks goals.
Nickname: Lions of Chinguetti
Coach: Corentin Martins
Afcon Appearances: 1
Best Performance: To be determined
Key Player: Moulaye Ahmed Khalil (AS Gabes)
Strengths: Their strength lies in teamwork and being debutants, they will play under no pressure.
Weaknesses: Lack of tournament experience will have a big effect on how they perform.