Last year's runners-up and ugly stepsisters since 1992, Ivory Coast headline Group D - which looks as though it could be the most exciting of the tournament.
It will feature an Ivorian side whose prince could be on his last legs and is desperate for continental glory, a massive derby between two North African neighbours and a team who will want to show that when wounded, quite literally, they could be at their most dangerous.
- GROUP A: The hosts et al
- GROUP B: Ghana and other stars
- GROUP C: Defending champs, Eagles and the rest
This group will be based at world-class facilities in Rustenburg, the privately managed Royal Bafokeng Stadium – a product of the tribe who live in the area. It has been used as a training camp for various teams and was much talked about as the venue that hosted England during the 2010 World Cup.
Football Africa takes a look at the final group of the tournament and what fans can expect from them.
Perennial favourites with a reputation for choking, Ivory Coast have been tipped to win the last four editions of the competition but finished in second place, fourth place, as losing quarter-finalists and second place respectively. Their talismanic captain Didier Drogba has promised this time it will be different.
"I want to pour my whole heart and strength into this Cup," he said. "We have come so close to winning the trophy but that does not mean we should slow down. We have learnt from our failures and we are returning to win the title."
They have a star-studded squad which includes the Toure brothers and Salomon Kalou, but for all their superpower status, they don’t have anything to show at the moment. Like Ghana, the Elephants' preparation had been bolstered with a victory over Egypt (who, by the way, have shown why perhaps they shouldn't be here after all).
The 4-2 win in Abu Dhabi is the Ivory Coast's only warm-up match before they take on Togo and yielded a brace from Gervinho and goals from Lacina Traore and Didier Ya Konan. It also saw a yellow card for Drogba and African Footballer of the Year Yaya Toure, who only played in the second half.
Best remembered in South Africa for being on the losing side of the 1996 event when Bafana Bafana laid their hands on the trophy for the first and only time, Tunisians would rather recall the glory days of 2004. It has been less than a decade since the Carthage Eagles flew above everyone else and they have since made three quarter-final appearances.
Tunisia have been through four coaches in three years and Sami Trabelsi, the former centre-back and current man in the hotseat, is hoping to establish some sort of consistency. They will be led by Aymen Mathlouthi, who is considered one of the best goalkeepers in Africa and also have talented 22-year-old midfielder Youssef Msakni in their ranks. Msakni is a product of Tunisian heavyweights Esperance, now plays in Qatar and netted twice at last year's tournament.
Despite their potential, they come into the tournament with problems after both the players and coach revealed exhaustion during the preparation phase. Tunisia have also set up base in Abu Dhabi and lost 4-2 to Ghana in a warm-up match.
Algeria have already had their share of North African clashes as they overcame Libya to qualify for the 2013 finals. They did no feature in the last edition of the ANC but will be familiar to home fans because of their participation in the 2010 World Cup.
There, they finished winless with two defeats and a draw from the event. They have since acquired the services of Vahid Halilhodzic, who has an intimate knowledge of the Ivorian side having coached them between 2008 and 2010.
Key players include captain Medhi Lacen, who has experience in Spain, and Sofiane Feghouli, who plays at Valencia, but the focus will probably not be on individuals. Former player and coach Lakhdar Belloumi has earmarked the clash against Tunisia as crucial to Algeria's hopes in the tournament. "I think everything depends on the first match against Tunisia. That is a game we cannot afford to lose.
We have to look at the offensive line before taking on Tunisia and I think the coach is well aware of the situation," he said. Algeria held hosts South Africa to a goalless draw in preparation for the tournament.
Their last appearance in the continental championship was marred by tragedy when the team bus was attacked by a separatist group in Cabinda, Angola. Three people were killed and the team withdrew from the tournament, only to be banned from the next two by an insensitive Confederation of African Football.
That was subsequently rescinded although Togo did not qualify for the 2012 event but they are back for this edition. The main talking point around the group has been the inclusion of Emmanuel Adebayor in the squad. Initially, the Spurs striker said he would not make himself available for the tournament because of disorganisation in the planning phases, which included non-payment of bonuses, but he has now accepted his call-up.
Adebayor scored the only goal in Togo's win over Morocco in a friendly two months ago and is a key figure in his team's campaign - but he is not the only player the FA have had to think about. Some members of the rest of the squad were also unhappy with the payment issue and even threatened to stop training as a result. The squad resumed their preparations on Monday.