Prediction: Who will Kenya land in Cup of Nations draw?

Friday April 12 2019

Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama (centre) celebrates his goal with Dennis Odhiambo (left), Michael Olunga and Eric Johanna (right) during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on October 14, 2018. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO |

Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama (centre) celebrates his goal with Dennis Odhiambo (left), Michael Olunga and Eric Johanna (right) during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on October 14, 2018. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Ahead of Friday night's 2019 Africa Cup of Nations draw in Cairo, Nation Sport's writers give their prediction on which teams they think Harambee Stars will draw.

The tournament runs from June 21 to July 19 in Egypt.

Vincent Opiyo: Nigeria, DR Congo, Kenya and Namibia

Kenya will need lady luck, one that has been behind on Stars' during the qualification process, in Cairo on Friday.

Kenya qualified for the continental showpiece with a match to spare following Sierra Leone's suspension by the world football governing body October last year but again, the Sebastien Migne-led charges had shocked Ghana 1-0 at home in September to revive their qualification hopes after going down 2-1 away to Sierra Leone in the opening round.

This vital outcome followed by a 0-0 draw and emphatic 3-0 win against Ethiopia guided Kenya to the 24-team showpiece. One would also argue that Kenya are in the draw for the biennial competition because the tournament was expanded to 24 teams from 16.

Kenya are in Pot 3 alongside alongside South Africa, neighbours Uganda, Benin, Mauritania and debutants Madagascar. Hosts Egypt are in Pot ‘A’ together with holders Cameroon, Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria and Morocco.

Nigeria are in Pot 1, DR Congo (Pot 2) and Namibia (Pot 4).

Kenya have a good record against the three nations having beaten DR Congo home and away in friendly matches two years ago. Stars beat Namibia 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier in 2013 and settled for a 1-1 draw the last time they played Nigeria in Calabar in 2013.

Steve Omondi: Two scenarios to play out

Two scenarios will play out for Kenya in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations draw. In the first scenario, it will all be déjà vu for Harambee Stars – coming up against familiar foes at this level of continental competition.

In the five editions of the Afcon that Kenya has been to, Cameroon and Senegal have been Harambee Stars’ most common opponents. On three occasions Kenya has been pooled in the same group with either Cameroon or Senegal.

For that reason I foresee Kenya drawing Cameroon from Pot 1 yet again. Then from pot 2 it will be Mali, whom we’ve also been drawn against in two previous editions of the competition.
Kenya has played none of the six nations from pot 4 at Afcon, yet there will be a familiar opponent from the region in the frame of Tanzania. So it will be Cameroon, Mali, Kenya and Tanzania.

Scenario two will be an encounter with the not so familiar opposition. So from Pot 1 we’ll be drawn against Morocco, Côte d'Ivoire from pot 2 and finally Namibia from Pot 4 to make it Morocco, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Namibia in one group.

David Kwalimwa: Egypt, Mali, Kenya, Burundi

I believe that Kenya will have to navigate the pool that has the hosts and a Cecafa rival. With three Cecafa teams qualified and two in Pot 3, I believe Kenya are going to land one - in this case Burundi. The hosts are going to be the toughest opponents for Migne's charges while Mali will offer Stars a good battle.

Cellestine Olilo: Morocco, Mali, Kenya and Guinea Bissau

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