Holders Zambia only just scraped through to this year's tournament as they qualified courtesy of a penalty-shootout victory over Uganda.
However, the Copper Bullets know all about such nerve-wracking situations after they lifted the trophy in 2012 thanks to an emotional shootout triumph over Ivory Coast in Libreville, Gabon.
Many of that squad remain in the international fold, so they will be able to call upon a wealth of experience in order to retain their title.
Equally important is that they still have Herve Renard in charge and the Frenchman us sure to cut an animated, if not dashing, figure on the touchline.
Players to watch out for:
The 22-year-old joined Southampton from Young Boys in the summer, but he has yet to make his mark on the Saints. However, he has the potential to light up the tournament with his mix of skill, pace and deadly finishing.
A Zambian hero, 30-year-old Katongo was named as the player of the tournament in 2012 as he led his country to their maiden AFCON triumph. If his team are in need of a goal, the striker won't be found hiding.
Previous best: Winners 2012
Odds to win outright: 12/1
Sports Mole says: Semi-finals