The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) group stage is now over, with only eight teams left in the competition, and the quarter-finals taking place over the weekend.
Saturday and Sunday will see the knockout stages begin, with teams from around the continent desperate to qualify for the semi-finals in Gabon.
With the host nation Gabon eliminated, and previous champions Cote D’Ivoire also out of the competition, the eight remaining national teams will feel confident that they have a chance to win three successive matches to be named Africa’s best on February 4 in the final.
But before that stage is reached, they will need to overcome the quarter-final and semi-final challenges that lie ahead.
On Saturday Burkina Faso will kick things off as far as the quarter-finals are concerned when they face Tunisia in the early match, with the late encounter setting up an interesting battle between Senegal and Cameroon.
The Indomitable Lions and the Teranga Lions will provide an intesting matchup, with many believing that Africa’s top ranked side, Senegal, have what it takes to go on and win the competition altogether.
Cameroon will certainly have something to say about that, and they should not be underestimated.
On Sunday the quarter-final action continues with the Democratic Republic of Congo taking on Ghana. The Black Stars have not been in the best form in recent months, but they managed to put together solid performances in the group stage to move on to the last eight.
The last of the quarter-final matches will see a North African derby in Gabon, with Egypt and Morocco set for a fiery encounter to decide one of the semi-final spots.
The Pharaohs are looking very strong, both in attack and defensively, and they must be considered one of the favourites to be crowned African champions.
The Atlas Lions will not be pushovers, however, and with coach Herve Renard aiming to win a third AFCON title, the Moroccans have an experienced and tactically astute coach on their side.
Burkina Faso – Tunisia
Senegal – Cameroon
DR Congo – Ghana
Egypt – Morocco
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