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Revenge and revolutions: Five Afcon clashes you absolutely should not miss

In light of Friday's CAF Africa Cup of Nations group-stage draw in Cairo, ESPN picks out five mouth-watering games to look forward in the first round.

The expanded 24-team format has meant more inclusion for the continent's lesser lights, while the traditional heavyweights have been spread around the groups.

However, there's absolutely no shortage of intrigue in the first round following a compelling first-round draw.

Tanzania vs. Kenya, June 27, 30 June Stadium, Cairo

East African derbies...

2019 Afcon draw: Early predictions for each group

The six groups for the expanded Africa Cup of Nations were drawn in a glamorous ceremony in the shadow of the Pyramids of Giza, just outside Cairo, on Friday, as the 24 teams learned their first-round opponents.

With the group stage mapped out, what should fans expect from the opening round of fixtures, where are the potential upsets, and who are the players to watch in African football's biennial showpiece?

Group A

Teams: Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Overview:

Egypt had...

Afcon qualifying: Lesser lights take centre stage on final weekend

When the Confederation of African Football ratified an expansion to the Africa Cup of Nations in July 2017, introducing eight more teams to the biennial competition, the dynamic of the qualifying program was always going to change.

As had been the case ahead of the European Championship in 2016, for which UEFA had instigated an increase from 16 to 24 teams, many of the continent's heavyweights cruised to the tournament with games to spare.

However, an overall decrease in drama among the bigger nations...

Africa Cup of Nations qualification: What's still at stake?

The road to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations has been paved with troubles, with the tournament often appearing to be at the mercy of the Confederation of African Football's internal politics and, notably, the regime change from Issa Hayatou to Ahmad Ahmad in March 2017.

The change in CAF presidency prompted the Afcon changes instigated at the CAF symposium in July 2017, where it was decided that the tournament would be expanded from 16 to 24 teams, even though the 2019 qualifying campaign had already...

 By Chris Wright

Italy, Uruguay, Ghana among 10 teams to get very similar away kits from Puma

With the World Cup beginning to crown on the horizon, Puma have released a flurry of new kits for the likes of Uruguay, Ghana and Switzerland.

While rival suppliers Adidas have been widely praised for their retro-infused offerings, Puma have opted to plough a more prosaic furrow.

Indeed, it looks like "very, very white" was the central design brief for all 10 shirts, with Italy, Senegal, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Czech Republic, Austria and Serbia also getting new looks.

According to the accompanying...

 By Chris Wright

Michael Essien joins Ronaldo, Maradona in having an 'interesting' statue

Having won the Champions League, four FA Cups, league titles galore and almost 60 caps for his country, it's only right that Michael Essien was given the esteemed honour of having a statue erected in his homeland of Ghana.

Created by a local artist, the homage to the ex-Chelsea and Real Madrid star was unveiled recently in the city of Kumasi.

As you can see, the sculptor responsible for this peerless work has managed to capture Essien's essence and likeness perfectly: C-3PO in a Chelsea shirt.

They...