African Cup of Nations Preview 25th Jan

African Cup Of Nations

Football
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Published: 25/01/2012

The action comes think and fast in the African Cup of Nations and here is our preview of the second round of games in Group C and Group D which are scheduled to take play on Friday and Saturday.

Friday gets underway with the defending champions Zambia taking on Nigeria in a big game in Group C. Both these sides drew their opening game 1-1 and will be looking to push on with three points here. Bookmakers make Nigeria the 11/8 (betfred) favourites while the draw is available at 20/9 (pinnacle) and a Zambia victory is a best priced 27/10 (BetVictor). I think the best bet in this game is in the both teams to score market. We talked at the start of the tournament about the lopsided nature of this Nigerian team by this I mean the side have a wealth of attacking talent though look very vulnerable at the back. Opponents Zambia have the capability of grabbing a goal so get on the YES in the both teams to score market which can be had at 5/4 (BetVictor/Stan James).

The other game in the group is between Burkina Faso and Ethiopia with bookmakers making Burkina Faso the evens (general) favourite while Ethiopia are 43/12 (pinnacle) and the draw is a best priced 5/2 (Pinnacle). In terms of FIFA rankings Burkina Faso are 92nd while Ethiopia are 110th. I was deeply unimpressed by Burkina Faso in the opening game with them needing an injury time goal to rescue a point against ten-men Nigeria. Adane Girma netted in the first game for Ethiopia and at 12/1 (bet365) to score first or 15/4 (bet365/BetVictor) in the anytime scorer market looks decent value to get among the goals here.

Into Group D and the game between the Ivory Coast and Tunisia features two teams who started their campaign with a victory. The Ivory Coast saw off Togo 2-1 while Tunisia saw off Algeria 1-0. Bookmakers make the Ivory Coast as short as 8/13 (Coral) for the victory while the draw is a best priced 124/41 (Pinnacle) and an away win is available for 81/13 (Pinnacle). With some 39 places between these two in the FIFA rankings (14th and 53rd) this looks like a one sided game and although I would expect the Ivory Coast to come through the prices are not appealing to me. Didier Drogba did not score in the first game and I would be a little shocked if he went two games without scoring. It makes sense therefore to play him at 6/4 (BetVictor) in the anytime scorer market as this price should probably be no bigger than evens and with some bookmakers is as short as 10/11.

Also in Group D the two sides who lost their opening games do battle as Algeria take on Togo with the gap between these two in the FIFA Rankings being 55 places. Despite this Algeria can still be backed at 13/12 (Pinnacle) while the draw is available at 44/19 (Pinnacle) and a Togo victory can be had at 10/3 (william hill). I think Algeria must be decent value as they know they need three points to stay alive in this group and I think they can get it from Togo. Togo had a tough game against the Ivory Coast and had to a lot of chasing of the ball which in the heat can be very tiring, just ask a dog.

BEST OF THE BETS

GOLD: Didier Drogba to score anytime v Tunisia, 6/4 (BetVictor)
SILVER: Algeria to beat Togo, 13/12 (Pinnacle)
BRONZE: Both teams to score Nigeria v Zambia, 5/4 (BetVictor/Stan James)


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