What did I tell you? It’s bloody magic this competition, isn’t it?
Have you picked your likely winners yet? Well, whoever you’ve chosen, you’re still probably wrong because this tournament has absolutely no logic accompanying it in the scheme of the footballing narrative.
If I was backed into a corner and asked to pick my most likely winner of the African Cup of Nations, I have to pick Algeria.
Oh, and guess who’s playing today?
Madagascar v DR Congo: Correct Score: 0-0 – 11/2
Only in this tournament! 0-0 is usually about a 12/1 shot in most football matches, yet here we sit with it as the second-most likely scoreline according to the prices. I’ll still back it though.
Does anyone remember when production teams were toying with xG a few years ago? That’s expected goals for those wondering.
It’s got to do with shot locations and the likelihood of conversion from those given areas. Well, I’m fairly sure both of these teams have already gone over their quota of goals for the entire tournament.
When you also consider that these two teams are new in the grand scheme of major tournaments at this point, nerves will undoubtedly kick in and there’ll be nobody moving from the centre circle for the last half hour.
Something else The Simpsons predicted. Is there anything they can’t do?
Algeria v Guinea: Algeria to win – 4/6
There’s always one price in every round of these tournaments that blows your mind and that is it.
Algeria have the best squad in this tournament in my book. I don’t mean that in terms of the amount of concentrated quality in the squads. I just mean they’re the most balanced and have quality in the areas they’re most needed.
Also, there’s a bloke called Baghdad Bounedjah up top. Let me tell you a bit about him.
He plays for Al Sadd in Qatar who were captained last year by Xavi. He’s since retired and is now their manager. That step up from La Liga to the QSL can be quite taxing for even the best players, of course. Bounedjah scored 39 goals in 22 games. THIRTY-NINE.
Bounedjah was wanted by Leeds at the start of last season and let me tell you – he’ll be wanted by them again, no doubt.
* All prices correct at time of posting.