Group A teams have the privilege of playing in Angola‘s capital, Luanda, save for the last match, between the Eagles of Mali and the Flames of Malawi, to be played in Cabinda.
Group A: Algeria, Angola, Mali, Malawi
Algeria, the only team in the group to have qualified for the 2010 World Cup, are undoubtedly the hot favourites in this pool. But it is best not to jump to conclusions about the outcome. Angola have the home advantage and are playing in their fourth cup. They are also going to draw on their experience as one of five African teams taking part in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Mali, whose star player is Fred Kanouté, reached the final of the CAN in 1972 and came third in 1994 and 2004. Malawi have played in the CAN only once, in 1984, and did not get past the first round. Though they are also unlikely to win the cup this year, they will no doubt feel confident after their impressive win over title holders Egypt in the qualifying stage.
The favourites: Algeria, Mali.
The nicknames: The Desert Foxes (Algeria), the Palancas Negras or Black Antelopes (Angola), the Eagles (Mali), the Flames (Malawi).
The matches (GMT):
Sunday, Jan. 10: Angola-Mali (4pm)
Monday, Jan. 11: Algeria-Malawi (1:45pm)
Thursday, Jan. 14: Algeria-Mali (4pm) and Angola-Malawi (6:30pm)
Monday, Jan. 18: Angola-Algeria (4pm) and Malawi-Mali (4pm, in Cabinda)
Date created : 2010-01-09