Togo are at last achieving some kind of consistancy and are turning into Nations Cup regulars.
They can count on a growing list of professionals who are plying their trade in Europe.
They have caused upsets in the past, not least being the only side to beat champions Cameroon at the last competition.
The team has been strengthened by the return of veteran striker Bachirou Salou, who has spent 12 years in the German Bundesliga.
It was one of coach Gbana Tchanile's first moves to lure him back into the side.
But the Hawks have never made it past the first round, and it looks unlikely that Mali will be the place they will break that habit.