The Team
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the central figure in a young side containing various players with European experience. Several squad members have served together for a number of years as well, especially Bruno Ecuele Manga and Didier Ovono, but Les Panthères (the Panthers) still stumbled out of the 2015 CAF Africa Cup of Nations at the group stage, despite an opening win against Burkina Faso. Emerging talents Malick Evouna and Henri Ndong nonetheless offer hope for a brighter and more consistent future. A wide consensus has it that the hosts, Gabon, making their 6th appearance at the ANC, have handily avoided too many stiff hurdles as they attempt to at least match — and, probably, better — their achievement of reaching a quarter-final, as their predecessors did in 2012. They should be more potent now than then, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, more mature at leading the forward line.

The coach
Following Technical Director Jose Garrido’s interim spell, after the departure of Jorge Costa in November 2016, the reins of Gabon have been picked up by a third Iberian in the shape of experienced Spanish coach Jose Antonio Camacho. A Real Madrid star in his playing days, who spent two brief spells at the helm of Los Blancos over the past two decades, his most recent position came in charge of China PR. While there he had attempted to lead the Asian side to Brazil 2014, having already enjoyed World Cup experience at Korea/Japan 2002, where he led Spain to the quarter-finals.

Ability to qualify from group


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