Newcastle forward Demba Ba looks on during the Barclays Premier league game between Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion. Ba plays for Senegal against Zambia in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations on January 21, 2012. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Equatorial Guinea and Libya open the Africa Cup of Nations, but Senegal vs. Zambia should be the better match on Day 1.
The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations kicks off on Saturday with two matches, as the co-hosts Equatorial Guinea open the tournament with the first match. The late match will be much more worth watching, however, with the group's two most talented sides facing off late. The hosts open against Libya, while Senegal takes on Zambia in the second game of Day 1.
Senegal are the clear favorites in Group A, while all of the other three teams will feel that they have a shot to nick second spot. Both Equatorial Guinea and Libya will feel like they need all three points in the opening match to have a great shot at advancing, while Zambia will be happy with any kind of good showing. They'll be gunning for a win, but their tournament is still very much alive with a loss.
Head coach Amara Traore of Senegal has more attacking options than he can use with Mamadou Niang, Demba Ba, Moussa Sow and Papiss Demba Cisse. The latter two seem like locks to start, while the former two should feature at some point, with one of them possibly cracking the starting XI. Striker Emmanuel Mayuka is the player to watch for Zambia.
Equatorial Guinea vs. Libya - 1:30 p.m. ET
Senegal vs. Zambia - 4:00 p.m. ET