Group C preview

Image: Eto'o: Cameroon legend

Cameroon are amongst the favourites for the title and would expect to comfortably top the group.

Indomitable Lions looking to show their strength

Cameroon are amongst the favourites for the title and would expect to top the group as they go in search of a fifth African Nations title. Egypt should push the Indomitable Lions all the way and it is feasible that top spot could be decided by whoever performs better against the group's whipping boys. Little is expected of either Sudan or Zambia despite their impressive performances in qualifying, and their clash on 22nd January could well decide who claims the Group C wooden spoon. Here is an in depth breakdown of the sides in Group C.
Cameroon have won the title on four occasions and have only failed to qualify for one of the last 14 African Cup of Nations. The Indomitable Lions won back-to-back trophies in 2000 and 2002 but have fallen in the quarter-finals at the last two tournaments. Premier League trio Andre Bikey (Reading), Alex Song (Arsenal) and Geremi (Newcastle) have all been included in the Cameroon squad, but any success the side achieves is likely to rest on the performances of Barcelona hitman and African football legend Samuel Eto'o. One to watch: Samuel Eto'o The Barcelona striker made his international debut at just 15-years-old and has been a key part of the national side for over 10 years. He finished as top scorer at the 2006 tournament with five goals and is a three time winner of the African Player of the Year award. Squad: Kameni Idriss Carlos (Espanyol), Hamidou Souleymanou (Denizlispor), Janvier Mbarga (Canon Sportif), Rigobert Song (Galatasaray), Andre Bikey (Reading), Timothee Atouba (Hamburg), Bill Tchato (Qatar Sport), Benoit Angbwa (Saturn), Gilles Augustin Binya (Benfica), Geremi (Newcastle United), Alexandre Song (Arsenal), Achille Emana (Toulouse), Jean Joel Epalle (Vfl Bochum), Jean Makoun (Lille), Landry Nguemo (Nancy), Modeste Mbami (Olympique Marseille), Paul Tchamba Essola (Arsenal Kiev), Stephane Mbia Etoundi (Stade Rennes), Alain Nkong (Atlente), Samuel Eto'o (Barcelona), Bertin Tomou (Excelsior Mouscron), Mohamadou Idrissou (MSV Duisburg), Joseph Desire Job (Nice)
The most successful nation in the competition's history, Egypt have picked up the title on five previous occasions and are the current holders of the title. They have made it to the last eight in six of the last seven tournaments and have included Middlesbrough midfielder Mohamed Shawky in their squad. Shawky's club team-mate Mido and Derby County loanee Hossam Ghaly have both missed out on a place in a squad which contains 17 players who currently ply their traxde in the Egyptian domestic league. One to watch: Mohamed Zidan. The striker currently plays for Bundesliga side Hamburg and has spent most of his career in the German top-flight. Despite having a reputation as something of a trouble maker, Zidan does have a good goal scoring record for his country and his finishing skills could be vital to the side in the absence of the experienced Mido. Squad: Essam al-Hadary (Al-Ahly), Mohamed Moncef (Zamalek), Mohamed Sobhi (Ismailia), Mahmoud Fathallah (Zamalek), Tarek al-Sayed (Zamalek), Sayed Moawad and Hani Saied (Ismailia), Shady Mohamed (Al-Ahly), Ahmed Fathi (Al-Ahly), Wael Gomaa (Al-Siliya), Ibrahim Saied (Ankaragucu), Ahmed al-Muhammadi (ENPPI), Omar Gamal (Ismailia), Hosni Abd Rabou (Ismailia), Mohamed Aboutraika (Al-Ahly), Ahmed Hassan (Anderlecht), Hassan Mostafa (Al-Wehda), Mohamed Shawky (Middlesbrough), Ahmed Shaaban (Petrojet), Mohamed Fadl (Ismailia), Emad Moteab (Al-Ahly), Amr Zaki (Zamalek), Mohamed Zidan (Hamburg)
Sudan will be making their first appearance at the finals since 1976, but did win the tournament in 1970 and have finished as runners-up on two other occasions. They are one of the three teams which took part in the very first African Cup of Nations and have a squad made up entirely of home based players. One to watch: Faisal Agab. The attacking midfielder plays his football for AL-Merrikh in the Sudanese national league and is his country's all-time top scorer in African Cup of Nations history. Squad: Bahaeldin Abdallah (Al Merreikh), Mahjoub El Moez (Al Hilal), Akram El Hadi Salem (Al Merreikh), Mohamed Ali Khider (Al Hilal), Ahmed Al Basha, Musa Al Tayeb (both Al Merreikh), Omar Bakheit (Al Hilal), Amir Damar (Al Merreikh), Alaeldin Ahmed Gibril, Khalid Hassan (both Al Hilal), Yousef Alaeldin, Hamouda Bashir (both Al Hilal), Badreldin El Doud (Al Merreikh), Saifeldin Ali Idris, Hassan Isaac Korongo, Rtshard Justin Lado (all Al Hilal), Mugahid Mohamed (Al Merreikh), Haitham Mostafa, Mohamed Tahir (both Al Hilal), Abdelhamid Amari, Faisal Agab, Alaeldin Babiker, Haitham Tambal (all Al Merreikh).
Zambia finished as runners-up at the 1974 and 1994 tournaments but they have failed to make it past the group stages in their last four appearances. They have included four European-based players in their squad with the quartet playing their football in Israel, Denmark, Sweden and France. One to watch: Chris Katongo. The forward plays for Danish Superliga side Brondby and scored a hat-trick against the much fancied South Africa in qualifying to help Zambia comfortably make it to the finals. His younger brother Felix is also a key part of the Zambian national side. Squad: Kalililo Kakonje (AmaZulu), Kennedy Mweene (Free State Stars), Mike Poto (Green Buffaloes), William Chinyama, Clive Hachilensa (both ZESCO United), Hichani Himoonde (Lusaka Dynamos), Chintu Kampamba (Free State Stars), Francis Kasonde (Power Dynamos), Joseph Musonda, Billy Mwanza (both Lamontville Golden Arrows), Kennedy Nketani (ZANACO), Ian Bakala (Primeiro Agosto), Isaac Chansa (Helsingborgs), Rainford Kalaba (ZESCO United), Felix Katongo (Petro Atletico), Clifford Mulenga (Pretoria University), William Njovu (Lusaka Dynamos), James Chamanga (Moroka Swallows), Christopher Katongo (Brondby), Emmanuel Mayuka (Kabwe Warriors), Jacob Mulenga (Racing Strasbourg), Felix Nsunzu (Konkola Blades), Dube Phiri (Primeiro Agosto)

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