Hosts Egypt were handed a favourable group in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals draw in Cairo on Friday.

Mohamed Salah and co will take on the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe in Group A, opening their campaign against the latter at the Cairo International Stadium on June 21.

Holders Cameroon, who were stripped of the right to host the tournament after a series of delays, begin in Group F with Ghana, Benin and Guinea-Bissau.

The draw for the expanded 24-team tournament, which runs from June 21 to July 19, was staged against the spectacular backdrop of the Sphinx and Pyramids on the Giza Plateau in Cairo.

It is the first time the tournament will be held in the summer months in an attempt to alleviate club-versus-country battles that have marred previous editions.

The top two teams in each of the six groups advance to the second round, along with the four best third-placed sides.

Group D features Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa and Namibia, which has been dubbed the ‘group of death’, and once again pits Morocco coach Herve Renard against the Ivorians with whom he lifted the trophy in 2015.

Nigeria, featuring Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi, will take on Guinea in Group B, as well as first-time qualifiers Madagascar and Burundi, and the Super Eagles will be heavy favourites to finish top.

Senegal and Algeria have been drawn together in Group C which could see Premier League stars Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez go head-to-head.

The AFCON draw in full:

Group A: Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Group B: Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar, Burundi

Group C: Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Tanzania

Group D: Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Namibia

Group E: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Angola

Group F: Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, Guinea-Bissau

Source: ES

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