Football tips: Today’s 4 Africa Cup of Nations best bets

There's a stacked card from AFCON 2021 to get stuck into on Sunday and our tipster Rhys Turrell is hunting for value.

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* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

We might not have the North London Derby to sink out teeth into this afternoon, but fortunately we’ve a bumper crop of Africa Cup of Nations action to fill the void.

Gambia v Mali gets us underway at 1pm before a double-header at 4pm with Ivory Coast tackling Sierra Leone and Tunisia facing Mauritania. Holders Algeria v Equatorial Guinea rounds off the day’s play at 7pm. 

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There’s been more drama around the organisation of this tournament than on the pitch so far, with baffling refereeing decisions and the playing of the wrong national anthems getting the headlines with goals and excitement at a premium out on the pitch.

But with plenty of star names taking the turf on Sunday, let’s hope that the delayed AFCON 2021 can get rolling in style.

Gambia v Mali – Mali to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0

1pm – Sky Sports Mix

Mali were the beneficiaries of the bizarre referee cock-up detailed above when winning 1-0 over Tunisia in their opening match. That shouldn’t distract from what was a good performance, however, and they’re backed to make it two wins from two here.

Brighton’s hot property Yves Bissouma wasn’t a starter in that match but could return here, and that added midfield steel along with some strong options in attack should see them get over the line.

Mali have won their last five in a row, with three by a 1-0 scoreline along with 5-0 and 3-0 victories. Gambia don’t score or concede many, with single goals deciding five of their last seven matches.

However, with the wind in their sails and points on the board already, we’ll take Mali To Win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 as a better value alternative to the straight-win market.

Ivory Coast v Sierra Leone – Handicap Betting: Ivory Coast -1

4pm – Sky Sports Football

The Premier League may have a blank slot on Sunday afternoon following the postponement of Tottenham v Arsenal, but plenty of its stars are in action here.

Maxwel Cornet, Wilfried Zaha and Nicolas Pepe could all feature for Ivory Coast, who are strong favourites to build on their opening day victory over Equatorial Guinea. Like many games in the tournament, that match ended 1-0. Sierra Leone earned a credible 0-0 draw against holders Algeria in their AFCON opener.

Although that was a good result for Sierra Leone, the goalless draw extended a poor scoring run which now stands at just one goal in their past six matches. They’re not fancied to end that against the Ivorians who can call on Eric Bailly to marshall their backline with Fulham’s Jean-Michael Seri and AC Milan’s Franck Kessie to dominate the midfield.

With their opponents struggling in front of goal and at a better price than the straight win market, it’s worth taking Ivory Coast at -1 in the Handicap Betting.

Tunisia v Mauritania – Tunisia to Win to Nil

4pm – Sky Sports Mix

Tunisia need to put three points on the board here after their opening day defeat to Mali. They’d won five from seven before that match with the controversial ending, so will be confident of turning things around.

Mauritania were beaten 1-0 by Gambia in their first AFCON match and recorded two 1-1 draws and a 4-0 defeat to Zambia before that match.

Beforehand they faced today’s opponents in a World Cup qualifying double-header, drawing 0-0 at home and losing 3-0 away.

Based on those form lines, we’ll take Tunisia to Win to Nil here.

Algeria v Equatorial Guinea – Riyad Mahrez to score 2 goals or more

7pm – Sky Sports Mix

Algeria were surprisingly held to a goalless draw by Sierra Leone in the opening game despite creating more than enough opportunities to win, while Equatorial Guinea lost to Ivory Coast through an early Max-Alain Gradel strike.

The defending champions should take full points in this one with far superior form going into the tournament. Algeria have won 4-0 twice, 5-0, 8-0 and 6-1 in their previous eight matches going into the tournament so have no trouble finding the back of the net.

Equatorial Guinea have recorded good wins over Tunisia and Zambia in their last four and are unbeaten since early September, but have their work cut out to stop their rampant opponents here.

At a decent price and with goals expected, Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez to score 2 Goals or More looks a value punt. 

Africa Cup of Nations tips today

1pm: Gambia v Mali – Mali to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0
4pm: Ivory Coast v Sierra Leone – Handicap Betting: Ivory Coast -1
4pm: Tunisia v Mauritania – Tunisia to Win to Nil
7pm: Algeria v Equatorial Guinea – Riyad Mahrez to score 2 goals or more

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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