So, we’ve arrived. The final day of the African Nations Cup group stages.
In no other competition in world football will you see as sweet a filtration process as you will here. There’s a lot of very good sides in Africa, but there’s an awful lot of teams who lack the infrastructure or any sort of direction.
This might be the biggest opportunity of the lot to get rid of two teams that truly have been woeful to watch. Benin and Guinea-Bissau will be bowing out today, in a group that, ironically, can still see any of the four teams top it.
To celebrate, let’s have a look a cheeky treble to whet your appetite.
Benin v Cameroon: Cameroon – 4/5
Is this a game of football where Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is the best player on the pitch? Well, it would appear so – yes.
Regardless, Cameroon are a far superior outfit and it may well play into our hands that they haven’t qualified yet, as that has both increased the price and ensured a solid display. They were quite impressive against Guinea-Bissau in their opening game of the tournament, while frustration got the better of them against Ghana.
This may not be the golden generation of Cameroon like it was 20 years ago, but there’s never been a Benin golden generation and you’ll soon see why.
I’m tempted to take Cameroon by more than a goal, but the price for a win is just about generous enough in and of itself.
Guinea-Bissau v Ghana: Ghana (-1) – 7/5
Results may be deceptive, but Guinea-Bissau are punching above their weight and they’re about to be brought back down to reality.
Ghana have an abundance of talent and only a lack of concentration saw them concede twice to lowly Benin first time out.
When the chips are down, Ghana excel and this is one of those moments. The Ayews should have enough firepower to make up for some lax defending at the back.
Guinea-Bissau may have a midfielder called Pele, but let me assure you, they won’t be escaping to victory in this one.
Mauritania v Tunisia: Tunisia – 1/2
You’ll struggle to find a better price than Tunisia anywhere on-site this weekend.
Their technical ability has nearly been their false sense of security in this tournament, as they’re too focused on keeping the ball than going for the jugular.
The sum of their individual parts may well exceed those pieces, but it’s not uneasy on the eye, either. Mauritania will come back down to reality after a scoreless draw with Angola.
But you have to ask yourself – what does that form-line truly amount to?
Very little is the answer.
* All prices correct at time of posting.