Who will the Super Eagles draw?
While the Super Eagles will be confident of progressing to the knockout stages, they’ll be desperate for a favourable draw ahead of June’s continental showpiece.
Ahead of the draw, Ed Dove assesses the best and worst case scenarios for the Super Eagles when four pots become six groups.
The possible candidates
Pot Two – The Ivory Coast are a worrying prospect in Pot Two.
Gernot Rohr’s backline would be severely tested, and could Francis Uzoho keep the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Nicholas Pepe, Gervinho and Max-Alain Gradel at bay?
A Black Stars side who were unconvincing under Kwesi Appiah could represent the best-case scenario from Pot Two, although would the Eagles relish an early meeting with their old rivals?
Who to avoid?
Pot Three – South Africa are the team that the Super Eagles would most want to avoid from Pot Three, even if they’d enjoy defeating their rivals at the continental high table.
Bafana took four points from Gernot Rohr’s side during qualification, and will be confident that they know how to get the better of the West Africans.
Best case scenario? Possibly Madagascar, will the debutants be able to replicate their qualifying heroics at the tournament proper?
Their recent 2-0 defeat by Senegal – a comfortable win for the Teranga Lions – might be a fairer reflection of their quality.
Their more expansive, attractive style could also play into the hands of the West African giants, while Gernot Rohr’s would comfortably have the edge in experience over the East Africans.
Namibia, on paper, however, appear to be the worst side in the tournament.
Kenya could represent a major banana skin among the Pot Four teams; they boast quality upfront in Michael Olunga, a midfield monster in Victor Wanyama, and demonstrated their maturity in a recent victory over Ghana.