With the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations set to begin and dozens of Ligue 1 players selected to represent their countries in Côte d’Ivoire, we start previewing the groups in the tournament. Today’s feature focuses on Group E.
Les Aigles stand among the great nations of African football, consistently knocking on the door of glory. Dominant in youth competitions, the senior team, under the guidance of manager Éric Sékou Chelle, aims to change their close calls into victories. A player to watch is Kamory Doumbia, a talented 20-year-old midfielder making his mark with Stade Brestois. Other Ligue 1 players like Moussa Diarra (Toulouse FC), Boubakar Kouyaté (Montpellier HSC), Falaye Sacko (Montpellier HSC), Mohamed Camara (AS Monaco), Siriné Doucouré (FC Lorient) add talent, improving Mali's chances in what could be a breakthrough AFCON.
The Brave Warriors enter the tournament as one of the biggest outsiders, qualifying for their second AFCON after an impressive campaign and Kenya’s suspension. Coach Collin Benjamin leads a side that, while challenging to break down, faces tough competition in the group. The team's mix of players includes those who play their club football in Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa, and along with good results before the tournament, gives Namibia a glimpse of hope.
The Bafana Bafana have faced challenges in reaching the heights of football – despite winning the AFCON in 1996, following generations have struggled to replicate that success. Coach Hugo Broos brings a pedigree of leading Cameroon to AFCON victory in 2017. Broos' experience on the African stage adds a layer of confidence, but the team's recent struggles and tough group competition present challenges for South Africa as they look for a positive AFCON campaign.
The Aigles de Carthage consistently excel on the continent stage and frequently secure World Cup qualifications. Despite their smaller size and population, Tunisia has been a football powerhouse, maintaining a perfect AFCON attendance since hosting in 1994. Tunisia, winners in 2004, has a talented and experienced squad, blending European and MENA-based players. Ligue 1 player Montassar Talbi, a standout defender with FC Lorient, adds strength to Tunisia's defensive line and emerges as a leader for the team.