Zambia will avoid their 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B opponents Cameroon and Nigeria in the group draws for the 2018 CHAN finals in Morocco.
Zambia will on Friday know their 2018 CHAN opponents when the tournament draws are made in Rabat for the finals Morocco will host from January 12 to February 4.
Chipolopolo are seeded in Pot 2 together with Cameroon, Nigeria and 2016 CHAN semifinalists Guinea who eliminated them from the quarterfinals of that tournament in Rwanda.
However, Zambia face a strong prospect of being drawn against hosts Morocco who are in Pot 1.
That potential draw would see a reunion their celebrated ex-coach Herve Renard.
Renard led Zambia to a third place finish at the inaugural tournament held in Cote d’Ivoire in 2009 before guiding them to their 2012 AFCON triumph.
2016 third place finishers Cote d’Ivoire, 2011 runners-up Angola and 2014 CHAN champions Libya complete Pot 1.
Other prospective group stage suitors are Congo, 2016 hosts Rwanda, 2011 hosts Sudan and Uganda who are in Pot 3.
Pot 4 contains Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia and 2014 CHAN surprise package Mauritania.
Defending champions and record two-time winners DR Congo did not qualify for the first time in the tournaments four-edition history and neither did runners-up Mali.
The draw procedure will see teams in Pot 1 ranked as the top seeded teams running from Group A,B,C and D.
Morocco as hosts are automatically in Group A and the first, second, third and fourth team picked from Pot 2 will join them Cote d’Ivoire, Angola and Libya in the order of draws.
The sequence will be repeated for the other two Pots until the 16 teams are completed.