I’ll tell you one thing – the heavy hitters are looking heavy-legged in part. Not only have Egypt taken a tumble, but there’s been a couple of less-than-convincing displays to this point.
Remember the World Cup when France were favourites and systematically wiped the floor with absolutely everyone in sight, leading to a huge anti-climax in Russia.
There are no such letdowns in Egypt. Except, well – the actual Egypt team – who, I suppose, were eh, a massive disappointment.
Moving swiftly on to distract you from my crooked reasoning. How about some tips. Yes? Follow me in.
Mali v Cote d’Ivoire: Mali to qualify – 11/10
As is usually the case, people are running scared of Cote d’Ivoire (I refuse to call them the Ivory Coast, because I’m trying out my new hipster phase for a week), because Dider Drogba once played for them.
Their form in this tournament has been suspect at best, as they were in a group with whipping boys Namibia, as well as a South African team whose shock win over Egypt was exactly that.
With Jonathan Kodjia leading the line, the well will eventually run dry and if you want them at 7/5 to win 90 minutes, then please be my guest. I won’t be dabbling.
Mali, meanwhile, have been one of the best less-fancied nations in this competition.
They scored six times in the group stages, including a 1-1 draw with a Tunisia team who boast stars all over the park, despite not winning a game in their group.
The odds-against for them to qualify in a coin toss when the 90-minute burden isn’t placed on you is good enough for me in this.
Ghana v Tunisia: Tunisia to qualify – 23/20
Ghana managed the lowest points tally of any side to top their group, while scoring just four times, and conceding twice to Benin in a shootout.
Also, take a look back at Group F. The four countries involved – Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau, Benin and Ghana – all have the same three-colour flag, which appear to be just varied ways of displaying the one flag.
Possibly a first in world football? Sorry, I’ll stop looking at flags and focus on your money.
Tunisia are the best defensive side in this tournament and I simply cannot back against them conceding a goal in regulation time, so I’m happy to sit during extra time and roll the inevitable penalty shootout dice.
We put too much stock into the likes of Jordan Ayew just because we know him. The fun thing about international football is that it likely won’t ever be corrupted by money on-field, so comparisons to club level really shouldn’t be taken into consideration.
I told you African football was a whole lot of fun, didn’t I?
* All prices correct at time of posting.