The CAF qualification draw for the 2018 World Cup in Russia has been made today ©CAF

Three countries who reached the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil have been drawn in a tough-looking Confederation of African Football (CAF) qualification group for the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria will battle it out along with outsiders Zambia in Group B after the draw was conducted in Cairo today.

Algeria and Nigeria were the only African sides who progressed from the group phase in Brazil two years ago.

The Algerian team suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of eventual winners Germany in the first knockout round, while Nigeria also went out at that stage, losing 2-0 to France.

Nigeria’s participation in the CAF qualifiers remains in the balance, however, as FIFA look poised to step in to sanction their Football Federation due to an ongoing saga involving the leadership of the organisation.

Before the draw took place in the Egyptian capital, tributes were paid to Nigerian legend Stephen Keshi, winner of the Africa Cup of Nations as a player and a manager, following his death aged 54 earlier this month.

Egypt, the most successful country in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations having lifted the title on seven occasions, will fancy their chances of booking their place at the 2018 World Cup as they were pitted against Ghana, Congo and Uganda.

The match with Ghana, who got to the quarter-finals of the 2010 tournament in South Africa, is likely to be the decider in Group E.

The top team in each of the five groups will qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia
The top team in each of the five groups will qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia ©CAF

South Africa, who are seeking to qualify for their fourth World Cup, will take on Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and Senegal in Group D.

The Senegalese can lay claim to one of the biggest upsets in the competition’s history after they beat France in the opening game of the 2002 event in Japan and South Korea on their World Cup debut.

Group C has also thrown up a mouth-watering tie as Morocco have been paired with African giants the Ivory Coast, with Gabon and Mali the outsiders in the four-team pool.

Tunisia, Libya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea make up Group A.

Only the top team in each group at the end of the qualification stage, where nations will play each other on a home and away basis, will secure a spot at Russia 2018.

The exact dates of the matches have not yet been confirmed but they are scheduled to take place between October of this year and November 2017.