2019 AFCON Qualifiers: Selected Fixtures Preview

Our football scribe previews a few selected 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

It’s that time of the year again where we turn our attention is turned to the international side of the ‘beautiful game’. The Africa Cup of Nations might only be in 2019 but the road to the tournament is always worth keeping a close eye on. The opening 25 AFCON qualifiers take place between Saturday and Monday, with 12 being carefully selected for analysis. Stay tuned to find out what’s valuable on the betting front!

Saturday 10 June

Zambia 11/20 | Draw 11/4 | Mozambique 11/2
Starting with one of the less glamorous encounters, Zambia play host to Mozambique. The home side are unbeaten in their last four matches in all competitions, including a 1-0 victory away to Uganda in a friendly last time out.

Mozambique on the other hand, have lost their last three matches on the road without scoring and conceding six times. They have a terrible record away to Zambia with five losses from the last six meetings. Back Chipolopolo to come out on top yet again.

Cameroon 11/10 | Draw 22/10 | Morocco 26/10
There will be plenty of weight on the shoulders of African giants Cameroon. For the first time since the 1959 Africa Cup of Nations, The Indomitable Lions will host the competition as title holder, after winning the previous edition of the Africa Cup of Nations. Cameroon’s shockingly went down 2-1 on home soil to Guinea in a friendly last time out but tournament time they always bring their ‘A’ game.

Morocco have been in top form with four wins from their last six matches in all competitions. The Atlas Lions play an attacking brand of football and have proved to be stubborn defensively. They have plenty have quality among they squad and are more than capable of doing a smash and grab here. The sides are tipped to cancel each other out.

Burkina Faso 5/10 | Draw 11/4 | Angola 6/1
Next up, Burkina Faso and Angola will square off with both teams currently struggling to find form. The home team are winless in four matches with two defeats, whilst Angola are without a victory in 10 games with seven losses.

It’s obvious that one string of form is worse than the other but when it comes to confidence, both teams are in need of a morale-boosting victory. A cagey affair is on the cards but Burkina Faso are tipped to capitalise on home advantage.

Mali 5/4 | Draw 39/20 | Gabon 5/2
One would think that a Mali versus Gabon clash would be exciting to watch but given the form of both teams, I’m expecting a dour encounter between the two. Mali have managed just one win from their last six matches in all competitions, suffering two defeats and playing out to three stalemates.

Gabon have sucked the life out of their last eight matches – playing to a draw in all of those games. The last meeting between Mali and Gabon ended goalless and another low scoring draw is on the cards.

Ivory Coast 11/20 | Draw 26/10 | Guinea 6/1
Ivory Coast looking as though they are going through a rebuilding phase. The Elephants have played back-to-back friendlies, disappointingly drawing 1-1 with minnows Benin before Netherlands humiliated them with a 5-0 drubbing.

Guinea last played in March, drawing 2-2 with Gabon and then following that up with a brave 2-1 victory at Cameroon. Given Ivory Coast’s current form, I would opt for both teams to find the back of the net but if the market isn’t available, it might prove worthwhile to have a small punt on Guinea to pull off the upset of the round.

Senegal 4/10 | Draw 29/10 | Equatorial Guinea 15/2
This clash could prove to be a walk in the park for home team. Senegal are leaps and bounds ahead of Equatorial Guinea in terms of quality. Not just quality players, as their style of football, development and coaching staff is on another level.

The Lions of Teranga are placed as the number two side on the CAF rankings compared to their opponents in 29th place. The home win is tipped confidently.

Cape Verde 9/10 | Draw 22/10 | Uganda 33/10
For a population of around 512,000 people, Cape Verde always seem to field a team capable of contending with the strongest sides in Africa. The Blue Sharks are coming off a hard-fought 2-0 victory away to Luxembourg in a friendly and will be eager to build on that.

Uganda have battled to find form and are winless in their last five matches with three defeats and two draws on the bounce. In those five matches, they have played the likes of Kenya, Mali, Egypt, Ghana and Ivory Coast – which shows the quality they have come up against in recent games. This one should go down to the wire, with the sides tipped to share the spoils.

Sunday 11 June

DR Congo 6/10 | Draw 26/10 | Congo 5/1
DR Congo and Congo will go toe-to-toe in what could prove to be a tricky contest. The Leopards were impressive last time out, claiming a 2-0 home win over Botswana but prior to that victory, DR Congo had lost back-to-back games.

The Red Devils have lost their last four games in all competitions, scoring twice and conceding seven goals. The last time these sides met, DR Congo claimed a thrilling 4-2 victory in hostile territory. Get on the home win.

Zimbabwe 9/20 | Draw 31/10 | Liberia 57/10
Zimbabwe and Liberia will fancy their chances against one another with both sides currently struggling for form. The Warriors are without a win in their last six matches but that’s not to say they don’t have the players to get the job done.

Liberia have lost back-to-back matches, scoring just once and conceding five times. With the likes of Willard Katsande, Khama Billiat, Cuthbert Malajila, Evans Rusike, Knowledge Musona and Tendai Ndoro, Zimbabwe will have enough firepower to see off the Lone Stars.

Ghana 1/8 | Draw 7/1 | Ethiopia 16/1
Looking at both teams on paper, Ghana are definitely the stronger of the two sides but if we turn to the form guide, Ethiopia have won consecutive matches compared to the Black Stars’ one win from their last five games in all competitions.

Nonetheless, it’s difficult to go against the Ghanaians, especially on home soil. It won’t be cut and dry but the Black Stars should do enough to claim maximum points.

Algeria 3/10 | Draw 39/10 | Togo 19/2
Algeria and Togo will do battle in Sunday’s final showdown. The Desert Warriors haven’t been in the best of form but with the abundance of quality spread throughout this team, they are more than likely to find a winning formula against Togo.

The Sparrow Hawks are coming off a 2-0 home win against minnows Comoros but prior to that, they were on a winless run of eight matches, including five defeats. Togo are no pushovers but Algeria possess much more depth and are tipped to utilise home advantage.

Monday 12 June

Tunisia 13/10 | Draw 2/1 | Egypt 47/20
Last but not least, Tunisia and Egypt will clash in what promises to be a fiery affair. The home team have been dismal of late with three losses on the spin, without scoring and conceding four times in that process.

Egypt have been in the opposite form, winning their last three matches. However, Tunisia can take heart in the fact that they’ve won four of the last five meetings between the sides. There has never been a draw between Egypt and Tunisia but it looks a likely result this time around.

Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets

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