Mali coach tags Ghana as strongest in Group B
Patrice Carteron believes Ghana are the strongest team in Group B
The Frenchman took charge of the Eagles in July this year and he will be making his debut in the continent's flagship event.
Carteron's side play Ghana on 24 January in Port Elizabeth in a repeat of their Group match at the last edition early this year.
Mali lost 2-0 to the Black Stars in Franceville, Gabon but progressed and avenged the defeat with the same scoreline to pick bronze.
''Ghana is the tough team really and in Niger and DR Congo, they have got good coaches so these four teams can go on to the quarterfinals," the 41-year-old said.
Carteron retired from active football in 2007 having played for Stade Rennais, Olympique Lyonnais, Saint Etienne and Cannes.
He also spent a brief spell at Sunderland in 2001.
Carteron coached French side FC Dijon from 2009 until his dismissal in 2012.