The first two groups of the Africa Cup of Nations come to an end on Sunday when Group A and B conclude in a busy day of football. We already know two of the sides who will progress from these sections but top spot is on the line in both to give some intrigue to the events.
Egypt and Nigeria have already guaranteed their progression from their respective sections but all eyes will be on the pair to see if they can finish in top position and make their path deep into the tournament a whole lot easier.
Group B (17.00)
Madagascar vs Nigeria
Burundi vs Guinea
Nigeria head into their final match against Madagascar knowing that they need to just avoid defeat in the match to make it safely into the knockout stages in top spot in the group but were they to lose the game then it would be their opponents who win the section. The other match sees Guinea and Burundi meeting with the aim of picking up a big enough win to push for one of the best third placed spots.
There isn’t a whole lot I like in this group if I’m honest. You would have to think that the game involving Nigeria will be quite tight with a draw serving the purpose of both sides while neither Guinea nor Burundi have shown me enough to convince me that they should be carrying my dosh in this contest.
Group A (20.00)
Uganda vs Egypt
Zimbabwe vs DR Congo
The second group to conclude on Sunday is very similar to the first one with Egypt having already qualified and only needing to avoid defeat against Uganda to progress through as leaders of the group, but like Nigeria, if they lose they will drop to second place. Zimbabwe have a point to their name and a win over DR Congo would give them every chance of going through either in second spot or as a best third placed side. Congo have to win and hope for the best.
Just as with that Nigeria game, I’m expecting Uganda and Egypt to deliver a tight match, maybe even tighter than the Nigeria game. With Egypt through it remains to be seen whether Mo Salah plays a full part and if he doesn’t you’ve got to think the draw is heavily in play which isn’t really for me. I will play one in the other game though where I like Zimbabwe.
I thought they were slightly better than the score suggested against Egypt in the opening match of the tournament and then certainly deserved their draw against Uganda last time out. It looks like they are warming to the task nicely whereas DR Congo have been awful so far in this competition and I haven’t really seen anything to suggest that there is going to be an upturn in form here. You can get plenty of draw cover on the match but that result doesn’t suit either side so I’m prepared to take Zimbabwe to win this one straight up.
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