South Sudan, who will be making their second appearance in the regional tournament, will take to the field first against Zanzibar, while hosts Kenya and Ethiopia will face-off in the second game of the day.
The tournament, which will also attract COSAFA champions Zambia, will be played in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa.
“We are ready to start the tournament well. We are not afraid of the Ethiopian team because we know they play a high passing game, but lack the physical aspect that my boys have,” Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche told MTNFootball.com.
The hosts, who reached the finals last year after losing to Uganda Cranes, will have an uphill task to try and prove a point to the home fans.
Jacob Keli, who was top scorer in the just-concluded Tusker Premier League together with best midfielder Brian Osumba, will lead the Stars against Ethiopia.
Although Ethiopian coach Sewhet Bishaw excluded majority of the team that played in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, he still has a formidable side and hopes they can use this event to build a team for the future.
“Besides preparing this team for the 2014 Africa Nations Championships, we are also building it for the future, including the 2015 AFCON qualifiers,” said Bishaw.
Action in the tournament will shift to the Machakos Stadium tomorrow (61 km out of Nairobi) for two games.
Burundi, who also qualified for the 2014 CHAN event, will be up against Somalia, while Tanzania battle Zambia. Defending champions Uganda will be in action on Friday against Rwanda, while Sudan face Eritrea.