Football 24th Jan Preview

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Published: 24/01/2012

Group B delivered where Group A failed producing goals and even something of a rarity for this tournament a decisive result. Can this group continue to produce thrills and spills when action resumes on Thursday with the second round of fixtures?

Mali beaten Niger in their opening game while Ghana let a two goal lead slip to end up drawing 2-2 with DR Congo. Those interested in betting on the group outrights still will see that Ghana are the 11/8 (paddy Power/ladbrokes) favourites while Mali are close by at 9/5 (sportingbet). DR Congo are not out of the running and if they can beat Niger then you could lay off the 25/4 (bwIN) are offering while Niger are considered out of the running at 50/1 (general).

Ghana take on Mail in the first game of the day and this should be a cracker. Bookmakers make Ghana the 6/5 favourites for victory while the draw is 12/5 (betfred) who are also best priced along with Coral on a Mali win at 11/4. Although I tipped up Ghana to win this tournament I think bookmakers have these prices about right especially considering that these sides are 25th (Mali) and 26th (Ghana) in the FIFA World Rankings.

Although teams have found goals hard to come by in this tournament I think this game has the potential to feature over 2.5 goals. Ghana showed in the first game that they are strong coming forward though vulnerable at the back. Mali also carry a goal threat and the overs are being pushed out here by a general trend in the tournament for low scoring cagey encounters. While it is essential not to lose the first game it also means that the scoring figures should rise as teams now look to push on from getting just one point froma game to getting all three.

Pinnacle have the over 2.5 goals market set at 22/15 which looks on the generous side and I think this has to be worth a little interest. This inflation of prices is also the reason why both teams to score can be backed at 11/10 (bet365/BetVictor).

The second game Thursday is one that pitches Niger against DR Congo. DR Congo came back from two down in their opening game with highly-rated Ghana and perhaps could have even gone on to win it. Although the lower ranked of the two in the FIFA Rankings (109th to 101st) bookmakers have DR Congo as the favourites to win this game at 4/5 (general). Niger might consider themselves a little unlucky to not get a point from their first game with Mali where a keeping mistake gifted Seydou Keita a goal and Mali all three points. I could not argue with anyone who suggested that Niger might be a little overpriced at 9/2 (betfred/paddy Power). The draw meanwhile is available at 47/18 (pinnacle).

Our tip at the start of the tournament to be top scorer was Dieumerci Mbokani and the Belgian based forward did not let us down grabbing one against Ghana. Mbokani is 5/1 (paddy Power) to grab the opener and a generous 17/10 (paddy power) to score at anytime which looks the way to play it. Although organised and well disciplined the in-form striker must fancy his chances against Niger.

BEST OF THE BETS

GOLD: Dieumerci Mbokani to score anytime v Niger, 17/10 (paddy power)
SILVER: Both teams to score Ghana v Mali, 11/10 (bet365/BetVictor)
BRONZE: Over 2.5 goals Ghana v Mali, 22/15 (pinnacle).


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