Group C and D come to a conclusion on Tuesday and all eight teams in action still have something to play for.
Africa Cup of Nations acca of the day
Guinea vs Senegal
Reigning champions Senegal are one of only two teams to pick up maximum points from their first two matches at this Africa Cup of Nations, needing just a draw from this clash in Yamoussoukro to rubber stamp top spot.
The Lions of Téranga have six points and six goals to their name so far, swatting aside The Gambia 3-0, before an equally comfortable 3-1 victory over Cameroon on Friday evening.
Ismaïla Sarr, Habib Diallo and then Sadio Mané all on target in the latter.
Two years ago, Aliou Cissé's side got their hands on this trophy for the very first time, amongst the favourites to repeat this triumph, and Senegal know the importance of a result here to secure first place.
Guinea meantime would leapfrog the defending champions should they claim victory, given their current points tally of four.
Kaba Diawara’s team held Cameroon to a credible 1-1 draw in their opener, before Aguibou Camara was the match-winner against Gambia four nights ago.
Thus, the National Elephants have almost certainly done enough already to get through to the round of 16, needing a draw at Stade Charles Konan Banny to ensure they remain in second.
The Gambia vs Cameroon
Kicking off simultaneously, 68 miles north in Bouaké, Cameroon’s fate is hanging in the balance.
Rigobert Song’s side have just one point on the board, held to a 1-1 draw by Guinea on matchday one, before being hammered 3-1 by Senegal on Friday.
Jean-Charles Castelletto’s late goal in the latter little more than a consultation.
Les Lions Indomptables have won the Africa Cup of Nations as many times as they’ve exited in the group phase, both five occasions, their sole first round elimination since 1996 coming nine years ago.
Now though, Cameroon must win here or they will be dumped out, while victory would secure their spot in the round of 16, even if only as a best-ranked third-place finisher.
Well, this does seem the most-likely outcome, given that The Gambia are one of only three sides beaten on both matchday one and two.
The Scorpions were swatted aside by Senegal eight days ago, Ebou Adams’ first half red card not helping their cause, before a much narrower 1-0 reverse against Guinea on Friday night.
Tom Saintfiet’s team, as debutants, got all the way to the quarter-finals two years ago, a fairytale ended by Cameroon in Douala, needing a victory over the same opposition to avoid heading home earlier her.
The five-times African champions should easily win this rematch at Stade de la Paix, although Cameroon under Rigobert Song have proved they can never be completely trusted.
Angola vs Burkina Faso
Turning our attention to Group D, not many expected this to be a top two clash in Stade Charles Konan Banny when the fixtures were released, but here we are.
These two kick off level on four points, both having seemingly done enough to be involved in the round of 16, although neither are guaranteed a top two finish.
Angola, the third lowest-ranked team at the entire tournament, kick off in first place, by virtue of having scored one more goal than their opponents.
The Black Sable antelopes held Algeria to a surprise 1-1 draw last Monday, Mabululu converting a second half penalty, before overcoming Mauritania in a five-goal thriller at the weekend.
Gelson Dala bagging a brace in that win, taking his tally to 18 international goals, before Gilberto’s goal proved to be the match-winner.
This is Angola’s first AFCON victory for 12 years, but Pedro Gonçalves is now likely to lead them into the knockout phase for only the third time ever, after 2008 and 2010.
Burkina Faso meantime, similarly but in reverse, beat Mauritania 1-0 in their opener, requiring a 96th minute Bertrand Traoré penalty, before a 2-2 draw with Algeria on Saturday.
Mohamed Konaté scoring before Traoré converted another spot-kick that had seemingly secured a famous three points, only for the 2019 winners to equalise in the 95th minute.
In the last 11 years, les Étalons have reached a Cup of Nations Final and two further semi-finals, finishing fourth two years ago, with Hubert Velud’s team looking good to make another deep run.
Who will claim first place with victory in Yamoussoukro?
Mauritania vs Algeria
Back in Bouaké, there’s plenty to play for in Group D’s other fixture, as Algeria are staring down the barrel of yet another embarrassing early exit.
Djamel Belmadi’s team have not won a match at this Africa Cup of Nations, held to a pair of stalemates so far, drawing 1-1 with Angola before a 2-2 against Burkina Faso on Saturday.
Baghdad Bounedjah has scored all three of his nation’s goals at this tournament, including a 95th minute equaliser at the weekend that could prove crucial.
In 2019, Algeria won this competition for the first time in almost three decades before, two years ago as holders, finishing rock bottom of their group with just a solitary point to their name.
Thus, only a win here would guarantee the Desert Foxes avoid back-to-back group phase exits for the first time ever, while defeat would condemn them to last place once again.
Mauritania meantime also have to go for a win that might see them sneak through as a best-ranked third-place team, given that they kick off on zero points.
The Lions of Chinguetti have suffered two narrow defeats at this competition, 1-0 at the hands of Burkina Faso and 3-2 against Angola, but they remain winless at AFCONs, losing each of their last five.
So, Algeria should be far too strong at Stade de la Paix, but will they crumble under the pressure?