One of the few teams to consistently feature in the CHAN tournament and this will be the fourth time the Elephants take part in.
Ivory Coast hosted the first edition in 2009 and disappointingly finished bottom of their group but have been steadily rising dispute not taking part in the 2014 edition in South Africa.
In Sudan 2011, the West African giants finished third in group C but it was an improvement provided they finished last in 2009.
In the last edition in 2016, Ivory Coast finished third after loosing their semi final clash with loosing finalists Mali before defeating Guinea in the losers game.
To get here, the Elephants required an away goal in the second leg of their West B zone qualifier with Niger after drawing 2-2 on aggregate.
With the viable improvement evident by each passing tournament, Ivory Coast will be a force to recon with and i don’t see anyone stopping them in group B.
PICK. Group C Winners
This will be Zambia’s third CHAN tournament after taking part in 2009 and last year in Rwanda.
The Chipolopolos have never failed to get past the group stages and have always led the group in which they have been place.
On route to getting here, they defeated Swaziland convincingly 7-0 on aggregate in the second round qualifiers of the South Zone before over powering South Africa 4-2 in the third round.
Zambia has always fallen short on either the quarters or semis and will be hoping better luck befalls them this time round.
With Ivory Coast in the same group, second place should be their top priority but in Uganda, they have a nation with whom they can ably compete for the runners up spot and may be snatch it from the Cranes hands.
Augustine Kabaso Mulenga – ZENACO
Martin Phiri – Power Dynamos
PICK. Group C runners ups.
Uganda has qualified in all but one CHAN tournament and the solitary miss dates back to the inaugural championships in 2009 which required only eight take part.
Since then, the small East African side has been taking part although they have never made it out of the group with their best performance coming in 2014 when they finished third in group B with four points.
Uganda had to go through two rounds of qualification in which they South Sudan 5-1 on aggregate in the first round before a nervy 3-2 triumph over Rwanda in the second round of qualification.
With a new coach in their ranks, the Cranes can only hope for better fortunes this time round but can not expect any easy games especially due to the fact that they have African giants in Zambia and Ivory Coast in their group.
Derrick Nsibambi – KCCA FC
Milton Karisa – Vipers SC
PICK. Group C Third position.
Namibia are the only debutantes in this year’s competition and the lack of experience may hurt them in the short run.
They defeated Zimbabwe on penalties and Comoros 3-2 on aggregate on route to this year’s finals.
Everyone in the group will look at them as the whopping boys and and don’t see them doing so much about it.
Terdius Uiseb – Orlando Piretes Windhoek
Willy Stephanus – Black Africa SC
PICK. Group A Last position.
Group A Matches:
Ivory Coast vs Namibia – 14/01/17
Zambia vs Uganda – 14/01/17
Ivory Coast vs Zambia – 18/01/17
Uganda vs Namibia -18/01/17
Uganda vs Ivory Coast – 22/01/17
Namibia vs Zambia – 22/01/17