Africa Cup of Nations record

Previous appearances in finals: (12) 1970, 1974, 1976, 1980, 1994, 1998, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2015, 2019

Best performance: Runners up 1976

Drawn in Group B with Malawi, Senegal and Zimbabwe

Coach: Kaba Diawara

The 46-year-old took over as caretaker coach for November’s World Cup qualifiers when Didier Six was fired after a disappointing campaign. He was confirmed in the job just weeks before the Cup of Nations kick-off.

It is the first coaching job for the French-born former striker, who had been serving as Six’s assistant.

Diawara won caps for France at under-21 but later played for Guinea. His nomadic club career took in stints at Girondins Bordeaux, Olympique Marseille and Paris St Germain in Ligue 1 and Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United in England.

Key player: Naby Keita Age: 26. Midfielder.

The captain has a talismanic influence on his team but also a horror record of injury suffered on national team duty, including at the last Africa Cup of Nations where Guinea went out in the round of 16.

Keita was 17 when he moved to France first and then played in Austria and the Bundesliga before Liverpool spent a club record almost 50-million pound fee to sign him.

He won the first of his 44 caps in mid-2014 while still a teenager.

FIFA world ranking Dec 2021: 81

How they qualified: Runners up in Group A, behind Mali but ahead of Namibia and Chad.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Moussa Camara (Horoya), Aly Keita (Ostersund), Ibrahima Kone (Hibernians)

Defenders: Fode Camara (Horoya), Mohamed Ali Camara (Young Boys), Ibrahima Conte (Niort), Mikael Dyrestam (Sarpsborg), Ousmane Kante (Paris FC), Pa Konate (Botev Plovdiv), Gaoussou Yousouf Siby (Wakrya), Saidou Sow (St Etienne), Issiaga Sylla (Toulouse)

Midfielders: Aguibou Camara (Olympiakos), Ibrahima Cisse (Seraing), Ibrahima Sory Conte (Bnei Sakhnin), Amadou Diawara (Roma), Mamadou Kane (Neftci), Naby Keita (Liverpool), Mory Konate (St Truiden), Ilaix Moriba (RB Leipzig), Morlaye Sylla (Horoya)

Forwards: Mohamed Bayo (Clermont), Mamadou Diallo (Grenoble), Morgan Guilavogui (Paris FC), Sory Kaba (OH Leuven), Jose Kante (Kairat), Seydouba Soumah (Kuwait SC).