The 24 countries to play at the Total 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt will be known at the end of the week when the final round of qualifiers are played across the continent.
While some slots have already been taken before the final round of qualifiers, several others are still to be decided as some groups are delicately poised with plenty to play for in the matches scheduled for 22-24 March.
The final ten places for the competition will be decided as Burundi, Comoros and Lesotho will be chasing history by grabbing their places in Africa’s flagship competition for the first time, following in the footsteps of Madagascar and Mauritania.
This means 14 countries have already qualified for the competition going into the final round of matches with several heavyweights sealing their places in advance.
Seven-time champions Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal as well as Guinea, Mali, Uganda, Kenya and the two newcomers to have already confirmed their places.
However, some of Africa’s top sides like Cameroon, DR Congo, Burkina Faso, Gabon and Congo have all to do in the final round of matches.
The match between Cameroon and the Comoros will decide who joins already-qualified Morocco from Group B as Malawi are unable to go through.
In Group G all the four teams have got a chance of qualifying with DR Congo hosting Liberia while Congo travel to Harare to face Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe lead the group with eight points, one ahead of Liberia while DR Congo and Congo have six and five points respectively.
Group K is also wide open are three sides are battling for the two slots. Guinea Bissau and Namibia have eight points each with Mozambique on seven points. Os Mambas will make a trip to Bissau while Namibia travels to Zambia who cannot qualify.
With Mali taking Group C’s first ticket, a fierce battle will take place when Burundi welcomes Gabon with the hosts needing just a draw to qualify for the first time. Burundi are second with 9 points while their opponents are two points adrift in third place.
Another tough assignment is in Group I where Angola (9points) and Burkina Faso (7points) will slug it out for last ticket. Palancas Negras travel to face Botswana while Burkina Faso host Mauritania who have already qualified.
Also in a similar position in Group D where Algeria have already secured their place which leaves Benin (seven points) battling Gambia and Togo, with five points each, for the other slot.
Three teams will also be battling for Group L’s remaining slot as Tanzania, Lesotho and Cape Verde all have a chance of qualifying with Uganda already sealing their place.
With Nigeria taking Group E’s first ticket, South Africa must avoid a defeat against Libya to qualify.