Brazil will start the pool as the favourites, while Cameroon, Croatia and Mexico will all be hopeful in what is, on paper, a wide-open fight for a second spot in the knockout phase.
Although no African team has secured a spot in the final round of CAF qualifying for Brazil 2014, that could all change this weekend in what is expected to be a pivotal matchday for aspirants across the continent.
Côte d'Ivoire midfielder Yaya Toure has been named the 2012 CAF African Player of the Year for the second year in succession, while Equatorial Guinea's Genoveva Anonman was honoured as the continent's top female footballer.
Barcelona midfielder Alex Song has said he'd love a reunion with Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League last 16, as it and UEFA Europa League are set to have their first knock-out stages drawn.
The CAF Football of the Year award will be announced in Accra on Thursday with Côte d'Ivoire pair Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure in the hunt, along with Cameroon's Alexandre Song.
Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Demba Ba, Andre Ayew and Alexandre Song have been shortlisted for the CAF African Player of the Year award.