There is a triple header of action in the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday as the tournament kicks into life in what should be an energetic day of football out in Egypt with a nice mix of star quality and emerging nations on show.
Egypt got the event underway with a win on Friday night and on Saturday we will see how the likes of Nigeria, DR Congo and Guinea get on as they begin their campaigns. Each are playing tricky opponents so we have a good card here.
DR Congo vs Uganda (15.30)
The opening match of the day sees the two sides in Group A who are yet to get their campaigns underway doing so when DR Congo go up against Uganda. With the other two sides in the group showing good signs on Friday night it will be interesting to see what these two have to offer.
Uganda qualified for this tournament by winning their group and they only conceded three goals in their six matches so I wonder if DR Congo are going to have this all their own way or not. They are much more established at this level and have many players in their squad who currently grace the Premier League or who have done so in the past. My hunch is that DR Congo get the job done here but I respect Uganda enough to make this one a watching brief rather than a betting one.
Nigeria vs Burundi (18.00)
The second match of the night is the one which is probably going to get the majority of the attention because it sees the competition begin for one of the favourites Nigeria. They take on the tournament debutants Burundi who have done well to be here.
It will be interesting to see how the minnows approach this match. What will also be noteworthy is how troubled Stoke City striker Saido Berahino goes for them should he get a spot in the side for this one. You’ve got to think though that Nigeria will be too strong here. They are seasoned campaigners at tournament level, in Odion Ighalo they have the man who top scored in qualifying for this tournament and they have enough midfield class to really dominate the match. We may not see many blowouts in this tournament but the odd comfortable win will come along and I suspect Nigeria will pick one up here.
Guinea vs Madagascar (21.00)
The final match of a busy day in the Africa Cup of Nations sees the other two sides in Group B doing battle when Guinea go up against another of the tournament debutants in Madagascar in a match neither can afford to lose with Nigeria looming on the horizon in this section.
Guinea won their group in qualifying but I do wonder if they are slightly overrated in this match because they have Naby Keita in their ranks. Although they won their group, that they drew with Rwanda and the Central African Republic highlights that maybe they are not as strong as they would like. To be fair Madagascar slipped up against the likes of Sudan in qualifying but they did hold Senegal. There are a few judges who think the debutants aren’t too bad and given that they get a 0.75 start on the Asian lines I’ll take the minnows against a side who I’m not convinced should be quite so heavy favourites.
HALF LOSS – Back Nigeria (-1.25AH) to beat Burundi for a 4/10 stake at 1.95 with Betfred
WON – Back Madagascar (+0.75AH) to beat Guinea for a 4/10 stake at 1.95 with Betfred
Back them here: