Cameroon and Libya are presumed favourites in what figures to be a rough and tumble group that also includes Germany 2006 finalists Togo and two-time African champions Congo DR. The Indomitable Lions failed to qualify for the 2012 Cup of Nations, and so will miss a continental finals for the first time in almost two decades. On the other hand, Libya pulled off a sensational act of concentration to reach event despite massive internal disruptions.
Libya and Congo DR have some important recent history as the Libyans held the Leopards to a 1-1 draw in Kinshasa in qualifying for the 2008 Cup of Nations, which was enough to prevent the previously table-topping Congolese from reaching the finals. Togo have fallen on hard times since surprisingly reaching the world’s showpiece event at the expense of Senegal, but the return of talismanic striker Emmanuel Adebayor has the Hawks’ hopes soaring.
With a FIFA World Cup pedigree that surpasses all other African countries and a whole array of top-notch players, the group should be Cameroon's to lose. They should, however, take some warning from the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, where they were sensationally eliminated and missed out on a place at the finals for the first time since 1986.
Libya: Appearing in just their third continental championship in 2012, the Libyans are riding a crest of footballing momentum that could see them test the group’s west African favourites.
Players to watch
Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Samuel Eto'o, Idriss Carlos Kameni, Alex Song (CMR), Lomana LuaLua, Shabani Nonda (COD), Djamal Mohamed (LBY), Serge Gakpe (TOG)
The crunch match
After five meetings between the two countries, Libya are still waiting for their first victory against Cameroon, but they likely need to do better to have any chance in this section. Of those five matches, four have come in qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup, with the Lions winning three of them.
A look back
DR Congo 1-0 Cameroon, 20 February 1998, Bobo Dioulasso
The quarter-final of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations saw one of the pre-tournament favourites Cameroon take on DR Congo in Burkina Faso. Jerry Tondelua gave the underdogs a first half lead and even though they were reduced to just nine men in the second half through two red cards, the Leopards held on for an historic victory.
6 - The number of times that Cameroon have played at the FIFA World Cup finals. They are the only African country to have achieved that to date. Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia have each appeared at four finals.
Did you know?
Cameroon have an unbeaten record of 33 matches at home in FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Of those, they have won 27 and drawn six. However, one of the draws was a costly one as Pierre Wome's 95th-minute penalty miss against Egypt in 2005 saw Côte d'Ivoire move above the Cameroonians, who missed out on a place in Germany.
Have your say
Will Les Lions Indomptables' record of 33 matches at home without defeat come to an end in this qualifying competition?