Star-saturated Cote d'Ivoire are the team the other 2013 CAF
Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers will want to avoid when the first round draw
is made in Durban on Wednesday.
Only hosts South Africa, title holders Zambia and four-time champions Ghana are sure of dodging the 'Elephants' during the initial 24-fixture phase as they are the other top seeds based on results from the past three tournaments.
Côte d'Ivoire may have lifted the Cup of Nations only once - and that was 20 years ago - but the team won enormous respect this month by going to Dakar and leading Senegal 2-0 before crowd violence halted the qualifier.
Then there is the star factor with captain Didier Drogba, Kolo and Yaya Toure and Didier Zokora desperate to end years of frustration, including two final defeats after penalty shoot-outs in the last four tournaments.
Mali, Tunisia, Angola and Nigeria are the second seeds, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Morocco and Niger the third seeds, and Togo, newcomers Cape Verde Islands, Congo DR and Ethiopia the lowest seeds.
When the late-night draw is complete in the Indian Ocean city there will be four pools consisting of a first, second, third and fourth seed, and, theoretically, the strongest sides should stay apart until the knockout rounds.
However, no draw would be done and dusted without a particularly strong mini-league - and Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Algeria or Morocco and Congo DR would certainly fit that bill.
Nigeria are on the comeback trail after failing to qualify for the tournament this year and the introduction of exciting young Chelsea midfielder Victor Moses has boosted the 'Super Eagles'.
Algeria are annoyingly unpredictable, coming fourth in 2010 only to miss qualification in 2012, while Morocco are long overdue a good showing having won their lone title 36 years ago.
Countries from the north of the continent can never be ignored as four of the last five winners came from that region with Egypt completing a title hat-trick after hosts Tunisia won the 2004 competition.