Mane suspended for Senegal clash and today's other major AFCON talking points
Three-time winners and 2013 champions Nigeria edged past tournament debutants Burundi at the Africa Cup of Nations last night but there were also some surprises on match day 2.
Madagascar marked their first appearance with a point against Guinea and Uganda recorded their first victory in 41 years at the tournament after overcoming DR Congo 2-0.
What can we expect from day three with Morocco, Namibia, Algeria, Kenya, Senegal & Tanzania all in action?
Fixtures & kickoff times (all East African Time) 🗓
- Morocco begins their Group D campaign in the early kick-off against Namibia at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo at 17:30.
- Senegal's Lions of Teranga take on Tanzania, who are making a first appearance since 1980, in Cairo at 20:00 to get things started in Group C.
- Algeria's Desert Foxes take on the Harambee Stars of Kenya at 23:00.
Key talking points and players to watch 🔑 💫
Hakim Ziyech was a revelation for Ajax Amsterdam last season, notching 21 goals & chipping in with 24 assists in all competitions, making the creative force behind their Champions League semifinal run.
With rumours swirling around all summer linking him with a move to a host of Europe's elite clubs, will he be in the right frame of mind to guide Morocco to continental glory?
With Sadio Mané suspended for Senegal's opener, the question on everyone's lips will surely be "Who will score goals in the absence of the Liverpool livewire?"
Senegal's side has recently been built around Sadio Mane's pace and trickery and without him in the side, they'll need a reshuffle. Towering Rennes striker M'Baye Niang is a totally different type of player but he's expected to lead the line. Alongside him, club teammate Ismaila Sarr will provide blinding pace to trouble Tanzania's defenders. Also, look out for talented Inter Milan man Keita Baldé.
Even without Sadio Mané, this is a side that poses a considerable threat going forward. At 22 in the world, Senegal is Africa's highest placed nation in Fifa's rankings but have never won this tournament. Can they do it at the 15th time of asking?
Kenya qualified by finishing in second place in a group behind Ghana but ahead of Ethiopia and Sierra Leone and start this tournament 105 in Fifa's world rankings. They return to the AFCON proper for the first time since 2004 and will be led by Tottenham man Victor Wanyama, off the back of a mixed season punctuated by injuries.
Wanyama started both of Tottenham's Champions League semifinal ties with Ajax and his experience at the top level will prove priceless for Kenya at a major tournament.
It's bound to be another action-packed evening in Egypt.
Read more: Player Profile - Victor Wanyama