AFCON: Equatorial Guinea - Ivory Coast

Paarai

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30 Aug 2021
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569
12.01.22 - 20:00 CET

We look at the Africa Cup, but this time with hopes for a better days in terms of goals and offensive play. One of the favourites for the winner of the whole tournament - Ivory Coast - is coming into the game. Here I choose to bet that Ivory Coast will win by at least 2 goals in the match against Equatorial Guinea. Which is definitely a risky bet, given how the tournament has gone for goals so far, but looking at the Ivory Coast squad, I can't do other than make this bet.

Let's start with their opponent - Equatorial Guinea. Most of their players plays in Spain, but in the lower competitions, and few of them play regularly. The only Guinean player who plays in the elite competition is defender Akapo, who plays for Cadiz. The rest of the team is playing in the lower competitions.

And then there's Ivory Coast, a star-studded team that is clearly aiming for the top ranks. Aside from the goalkeeper, who could be a weakness later in the tournament, the team is balanced, and more importantly, extremely good. From the defence - Manchester United player Bailly, Wolwerhampton's Boly, former Spurs and now Villareal defender Aurier, or young defender Kossounou playing for Leverkusen. Moving on to the midfield, Franck Kessié will clearly dominate it, shining in the AC Milan jersey, followed by players like Akpa Akpro from Lazio or Sangaré from PSV Eindhoven. And the offense? Watch this: the best scorer of this year's Champions League so far, Haller, Arsenal striker Pepe, and Crystal Palace's Zaha. Not to mention offensive midfielder Gradel, or Burnley's Cornet, who has 6 goals in 10 games for Burnley this season.

If any team has the ability to finally beat their opponents by more than one goal and have a comfortable start to the tournament, it is clearly Ivory Coast. I hope that Ivory Coast will show their incredible quality, leave nothing to chance and take charge of the match as they should and actively.

Summary:
1) the tremendous individual quality of Ivory Coast on all parts of the pitch (Bailly, Bony, Kessié, Haller, Akpa Akpro, Cornet, Gradel...) and I could certainly go on with the list of names
2) the performance of the favourites so far in the tournament, from which Ivory Coast will surely want to learn lessons and not worry about the result until the end of the match

My prediction: Asian Handicap: Ivory Coast -1.5 @ 2.50 (bet365)
 

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