Rivals Kenya and Uganda were kept apart during the 2013 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup draw that was held at the Stanley hotel in Nairobi on Friday morning.
The two teams contested last year's final held in Kampala, where Uganda Cranes won 2-1, and their rivalry dating to pre-independence days is expected to be renewed at some point in the two-week tournament that kicks off on November 27.
Hosts Kenya have been pooled in Group A together with easily the form team of Cecafa Ethiopia, Zanzibar and South Sudan.
"Kenya will top the group," Gregory Mulemi, a journalist and ardent football fan commented on his Facebook page.
"I hope and believe that we have a great chance of winning this competition," Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Sam Nyamweya said.
The hosts will have to be wary though of Ethiopia and Zanzibar. Ethiopia are the only team from the region who played at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations and also the Africa World Cup qualifiers play-offs while Zanzibar made the Cecafa semi-finals last year and will be eager to go one better.
2012 African champions Zambia are the guest team gracing this competition and will battle it out against last year's losing semi-finalists Tanzania, Burundi and Somalia in Group B.
Defending champions Uganda are in Group C alongside Rwanda, Sudan and Eritrea. Djibouti were not included in the draw after failing to confirm their participation.
The top two teams in each of the three groups and the best two losers will qualify for the quarter-finals.
Group A: Kenya, Ethiopia, Zanzibar, South Sudan
Group B: Tanzania, Zambia, Burundi, Somalia
Group C: Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Eritrea