Wednesday, January 19

African Nations Cup Day 8 Tips: Back Algeria to show their title credentials

Tunisia and low goals the smart selections

Gambia vs Mali (Group F)
Sun, 13:00 GMT

Having won their opening games, these two sides will almost certainly see a draw as an acceptable result here. If the game ends in a stalemate, borth teams will have four points putting them within touching distance of a place in the Last 16.

There was a similar scenario when Senegal faced Guinea in Group B on Friday afternoon: the longer the game went on, the happier the two sides (who went into the game on three points each) were to settle for a draw. The match ended 0-0.

Gambia defended excellently in their 1-0 opening-game win over Equatorial Guinea. Other than giving away a penalty, Mali were defensively sound in their 1-0 win over Tunisia, too. So it would be no surprise if defences were on top here.

At 1.84/5, Under 2.0 on the Goal Lines market is our selection.

Tunisia vs Mauritania (Group F)
Sun, 16:00 GMT

Tunisia will be still smarting from the farcical refereeing that saw time called on their opening game against Mali (1-0 defeat) when there were still several minutes left to run.

Putting aside their anger, however, Tunisia must also recognise they didn’t play particularly well. They managed just three shots on target, and need more from attackers Wahbi Khazri and Naim Sliti.

This game hands Tunisia the ideal opportunity to kick-start their tournament. Mauritania were poor in their opening match vs Gambia (1-0 defeat): vulnerable to long-range shots, they conceded via that method in the first-half, and at no point after that did they look capable of scoring an equaliser.

Tunisia are 1.51/2 favourites. If, like us, you expect Tunisia to win, consider backing them on the Asian Handicap. With our selection, you’ll get your stakes back if Tunisia win by a single goal, and make a profit if they win by two or more goals. For a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here .

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Ivory Coast vs Sierra Leone (Group E)
Sun, 16:00 GMT

It’s hard to know which Ivory Coast will turn up here. They have immense potential, their squad packed with attacking talent. Yet they were poor in their opening-game 1-0 win over Equatorial Guinea: after veteran winger Max-Alain Gradel’s goal, they created very little for the next 85 minutes.

Sierra Leone produced a sensational defensive performance in their opening game, holding defending champions Algeria to a goalless draw. The spirit and effort of John Keister’s team were excellent, and suggests they will be competitive here.

Ivory Coast’s short odds of 1.330/100 to win owe more to their reputation than what they produced in their opening fixture. They’re capable of winning comfortably, of course, yet Sierra Leone’s chances of frustrating the Elephants appear underrated given how they performed against Algeria.

Although the goals-per-game count has edged up during the second round of group games, we’re happy to support Unders here. Sierra Leone will fight with everything they have to earn a point.

Algeria vs Equatorial Guinea (Group E)
Sun, 19:00 GMT

Algeria made a stuttering start in their defence of their title when they could only draw 0-0 vs Sierra Leone in their opening game. Yet Djamel Belmadi’s side are too good to play poorly two games in a row.

The Fennecs have played some dazzling football during the past three years and head into this game on a 35-match unbeaten run. Their disappointing showing the other day will merely have fired-up a squad of players that have developed an outstanding winning mentality in recent seasons.

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Equatorial Guinea played well in their opening game vs Ivory Coast (1-0 defeat). Refusing to be overawed, they attacked when the opportunity arose.

Algeria ought to be too strong for Equatorial Guinea, though. Latest reports suggest manager Belmadi can field his strongest line-up, so we expect better from the defending champions.

Algeria are 1.351/3 to collect all three points. Seeking better odds, we prefer to back them on the Asian Handicap. With our selection, you’ll make a profit as long as Algeria win by two or more goals.

PREM WATCH

All eyes will be on Riyad Mahrez as Algeria seek their first win of the finals. The Manchester City winger, who scored six times in seven international appearances in 2021, is 2.56/4 in the Anytime Goalscorer market as Algeria take on Equatorial Guinea.

Burnley’s Maxwel Cornet was the only Premier League player to start in Ivory Coast’s first game. He’s 2.757/4 in the Anytime Goalscorer market for the game against Sierra Leone. Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha – hoping to be recalled to the starting line-up – is the same price.

Manchester United teenager Hannibal Mejri started in an attacking position for Tunisia in their first match and will believe he did enough to keep his place. The France-born player is 3.7511/4 to find the net against Mauritania.

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