Tunisia host seven-time African champions and 2017 runners-up Egypt in the final tie of the weekend on Sunday evening.
Al Ahly and Zamalek dominate the Egypt squad with 14 of the 25 players, but Argentine coach Hector Cuper can also rely on several Europe-based ‘Pharaohs’.
Mohamed Salah was a consistent scorer in Italy for Roma last season.
Ivory Coast will dedicate a Group H clash with Guinea in Bouake to the memory of 2015 Nations Cup winner Cheick Tiote, who died in China this week.
New Elephants’ coach Marc Wilmots had a nightmare debut last Sunday with a 5-0 friendly drubbing by the Netherlands – a record Ivorian loss in their 57-year history.
Although guaranteed a place at the 2019 finals as hosts, title-holders Cameroon play in Group B and host Morocco in Yaounde.
Points won by Cameroon’s opponents in the qualifying will count towards their final totals in the group.
Another nation with a new captain is Zimbabwe as Knowledge Musona leads a new-look Warriors side against visiting Liberia in Sunday’s Group B match.
The Belgium-based striker takes over from Willard Katsande, who was skipper at the Nations Cup finals in Gabon earlier this year.
Former captain Norman Mapeza is Zimbabe’s interim coach and he has not selected many of the players who featured in Gabon.
“It’s not a bad team, I’ve played with most of the guys,” Musona insisted.
“It would be something else to lead the team to qualify.
“It’s a tough group but you never know in African football, and we need to make a good start and apply our tactics and play our game and work hard as a team.
Zimbabwe are in Group B with Liberia, DR Congo and Congo-Brazzaville, and are targeting a fourth appearance at the Nations Cup finals.