The African Cup of Nations is back with a bang and let me tell you – there are very few tournaments in the world where you can completely switch off and just enjoy the ensuing chaos unfold.
This, my friends, is the Steve Wilkos Show of the footballing world. With that being said, if there were markets available for Steve Wilkos Show, it probably would have had better ratings. He’s also probably better at football than some of the Mauritania players.
But anyway – thankfully we do have markets for AFCON, and plenty of them. Here’s a sneaky treble to brighten up your Monday.
Apart from Wilfried Zaha and Nicolas Pepe, you really can’t get too excited here. It’s not like there’s a Didier Drogba sort hanging around that will pop up with the big moment.
While the majority of the South Africa squad are home based – the notable exclusion being Strabourg’s Lebogang Motihba – that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s a big disparity between the top sides in the PSL and the bottom, but thankfully for Bafana Bafana, that’s not really an issue here as most of the squad comprises of Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi players.
Sundowns performed excellently in the CAF Champions League, and that experience is probably better preparation than going through the motions for clubs in better leagues.
They could easily nick a draw here.
Tunisia, like Algeria, are one of those nations that, come World Cups, will be 4/1 to get out of their group and usually end up doing it. Just because the majority of north African players end up going to France to ply their trade does not mean that a few don’t slip through those pesky French fingers.
There’s plenty of goals in this team too, as Wahbi Khazri is coming off a superb season with Saint-Etienne, and Youssef Msakni’s 14 goals look ready to be added to.
Also, speaking of the CAF Champions League – this squad is littered with Esperance players, and no side in Africa is better suited to the big occasion over the last few years than them.
This should be comfortable.
— FTF (@FTF_OFFICIELLE) June 22, 2019
The price of the day. Mauritania are easily the worst side in this tournament and try to combat a genuine outside to the crown, yet only find themselves 7/2 to win the match.
Not for me, Bill – as our darling punditry trio once said.
The two goalkeepers aside, none of the Mali squad play domestically, and the majority play in France at a very good level. This squad is inexperienced, but full of talent. Some of the clubs represented here are Nottingham Forrest, Rangers, Red Bull Salzburg, Cercle Brugge, RB Leipzig, Porto, Sporting Lisbon and Standard Liege.
A few of these players will be plying their trade in the five major European leagues over the next decade, and this is a prime opportunity to watch them so you can boast to your mates instead of searching for YouTube videos when the time comes.
Sound good? Sounds good.
- Ivory Coast v South Africa: South Africa (-1) – 4/6
- Tunisia v Angola: Tunisia to win – 8/13
- Mali v Mauritania: Mali to win – 8/11
A £/€1 stake returns £/€4.65 on this treble on paddypower.com
Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change.