CAF World Cup Qualifiers: Round 3 Preview

Two soccer players chasing the ball down in the big box

Our football scribe previews round three of the 2018 CAF World Cup qualifiers which resume on Friday the 1st of September 2017. 

As always, five African teams will take part in the much-anticipated FIFA World Cup in Russia next year. With two rounds of football already played in the group stages, we should have some indication as to how the proceedings will end. We’re in for a treat this week with some eye-catching games to look forward to, including the tie between Nigeria and Cameroon.

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Friday 1 September

Ghana 3/10 | Draw 34/10 | Congo 10/1 (17:30)

Ghana and Congo will both be searching for their first victories in the group stage as they lock horns in Group E. The Black Stars are currently third with just one point after drawing against Uganda on matchday one. Congo have a mountain to climb after losing both their opening matches.

Ghana have loads of great players in their team, as well as Maritzburg United shot-stopper, Richard Ofori. Back Ghana to Win to Nil at 13/20.

Nigeria 17/20 | Draw 47/20 | Cameroon 34/10 (18:00)
Two games into the group stages and Nigeria have already set themselves apart from the chasing pack. The Super Eagles lead Group B with six points, four ahead of their opponents, Cameroon. Despite being in the so-called ‘Group of Death’, Nigeria have been brilliant, beating Zambia and Algeria.

Cameroon haven’t been too impressive, but they’ve managed to stay undefeated, drawing both their encounters. This will certainly be a tough encounter for both sides, but Nigeria are tipped to edge it.

Cape Verde 7/4 | Draw 39/20 | South Africa 17/10 (20:30)
Both South Africa and Cape Verde still have a chance of booking themselves a spot in the 2018 FIFA World Cup as they go head-to-head this Friday. After one victory and a draw, South Africa lie second in Group D with the same amount of points as table-topping Burkina Faso.

Cape Verde anchor the table as they’ve lost both their matches so far. Can they turn the tables in the remaining four fixtures, starting with the upcoming match against Bafana Bafana? I doubt it. Cape Verde have been everyone’s punching bag lately and I’m expecting South Africa to win this one. With the likes of Manyama, Grobler, and Tau, Bafana should be too good for them.
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Morocco 6/10 | Draw 51/20 | Mali 11/2 (22:00)
Morocco seek their first win of the campaign when they host Mali on Friday night. The Atlas Lions have drawn both their matches played so far, playing out to a goalless draw on both occasions. Mali lie bottom of Group C with just a single point to their name.

The Eagles are the only team in the group to suffer defeat, losing to Ivory Coast on matchday one. Between these two sides, just one goal has been scored. For that reason, back the Under 2.5 Goals market at 5/10.

Tunisia 15/20 | Draw 47/20 | DR Congo 4/1 (22:00)
Tunisia and DR Congo go head-to-head in a top of the table clash, with both teams sitting comfortably on six points from their opening two matches. DR Congo have the superior goal difference after beating Libya 4-0 and Guinea 2-1.

The Carthage Eagles, however, are yet to concede a goal after edging out Guinea and Libya by 2-0 and 1-0 scorelines respectively. This should be another close encounter, with Under 2.5 Goals tipped again at 11/20.

Saturday 2 September

Zambia 2/1 | Draw 2/1 | Algeria 14/10 (15:00)
Group B heavyweights, Zambia and Algeria, lock horns in a mouth-watering encounter in Lusaka. Zambia are third in Group B, ahead of Algeria on goal difference. The Desert Warriors are unbeaten in seven matches against Zambia and have not conceded a goal in that run.

Algeria have arguably the best side on the continent but haven’t been too convincing with their results. Both sides have quality attacking players, and it could be a long night for Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper, Kennedy Mweene, who represents Zambia. Get on the Both Teams to Score market at even money.

Gabon 37/20 | Draw 37/20 | Ivory Coast 17/10 (18:00)
Gabon will look to overtake their opponents, Ivory Coast, when they host the Elephants on Saturday evening. Despite having one of the glitziest strikers in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gabon have struggled in front of goal, with both of their matches played so far ending in goalless draws.

Ivory Coast lead Group C with four points but will need to cement top spot as a loss could see them drop down to third if other results also don’t go in their favour. A cagey affair is expected here, with these sides tipped to cancel each other out.

Senegal 13/20 | Draw 23/10 | Burkina Faso 5/1 (22:00)
African giants, Senegal, wrap up the first round of CAF qualifiers when they host Burkina Faso. The Lions of Teranga will leapfrog their opponents with a win here and if South Africa fail to beat Cape Verde, they could be on top.

Burkina Faso are undefeated so far, and with attacking talents like Jonatan Pitroipa and Bertrand Traore, they’re a difficult team to defend against. The head-to-head stats sort of waver in the middle here. Avoid picking a winner and get on the Both Teams to Score market at a valuable 16/10.

TREBLE @ 7/1
Ghana Win to Nil 13/20
Nigeria Win 17/20
Senegal vs Burkina Faso BTTS 33/20

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