JOHANNESBURG: Algeria will begin their Africa Cup of Nations title defence at home to former champions Zambia during November, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) confirmed on Monday (Jul 29).
The Desert Foxes will also visit Botswana between Nov 11 and 19, giving the defending champions a realistic chance to collect a maximum six points from the two matches.
Zimbabwe complete Group H and the top two finishers after each nation plays the other three at home and away qualifies for the 2021 tournament in Cameroon.
Zambia have struggled in the Cup of Nations since a shock 2012 final victory over the Ivory Coast after a penalty shootout in Libreville.
In the four subsequent editions, the Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) made two first round exits and did not even qualify for the last two tournaments.
Botswana took just one point from a possible 18 in 2019 Cup of Nations qualifiers and were 107 places below Algeria in the July world rankings.
Riyad Mahrez-captained Algeria became African champions a second time by beating Senegal 1-0 in the final in Cairo this month thanks to a second-minute goal from Baghdad Bounedjah.