The second week of action in the Africa Cup of Nations begins with three more matches in the competition on Friday with some big guns out to show their hand and look to get themselves a step closer to reaching the knockout stages.
We saw the likes of Egypt and Nigeria qualifying for the business end of the tournament earlier in the week and on Friday it will be the turn of the likes of Morocco, Ivory Coast and Mali to look to seal their progress.
Tunisia vs Mali (15.30)
The first match of the day is actually a good looking game between the two biggest sides in Group E meeting when Tunisia take on Mali. Although these are the two sides expected to escape the group, they had very different first outings in the tournament.
Mali were emphatic winners over Mauritania in their first match while Tunisia failed to overcome the challenge of Angola in their bow in the competition so they will be under pressure to get something from this game else there will be all sorts of problems mounting for them going into their third game.
I’m a little surprised that Tunisia are the favourites for this match. I thought Mali were quite impressive in their opening match in the group and I fancy they could kick on here. With a win under their belt, and an emphatic one at that, Mali can play with a little more freedom here and that can see them come out on top in this one.
Morocco vs Ivory Coast (18.00)
The second match of the day is the big one from Group D where Morocco and Ivory Coast will battle it out for what will most likely be the three points that guarantees top spot in the group for whoever can claim them.
Both teams won their opening match of the tournament 1-0 but I think both will acknowledge that they need to play better than that if they are going to end up as champions at the end of the competition. Both teams will know that they have that improvement in them so it is a case of just finding it. There isn’t really a bet I like in this match so given that I’ve taken Morocco outright my interest will lie in that.
South Africa vs Namibia (21.00)
The final match of the day sees South Africa and Namibia looking to get their campaigns back on track after defeat in their first matches. The extended format offers up the chance for a team to lose and still progress but a second defeat can still be fatal.
Given what is at stake you would think this will be a competitive battle but I have a liking for South Africa here. I think they were marginally more settled in the opening matches and have a better platform to build from. I don’t see Namibia having the quality at the top end of the pitch here so if South Africa don’t make defensive ricks then I expect them to have enough to get the job done and enhance their qualification hopes.
WON – Back Mali (+0.5AH) to beat Tunisia for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with BetVictor
WON – Back South Africa to beat Namibia for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Betfred
Back them here: