GROUP D takes centre stage in the African Cup of Nations on Saturday. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) eyes up the best bets.
Cameroon v Guinea Tips | Saturday 19.00 | Eurosport
I’ve mentioned a few times that Cameroon came very close to getting my love, affection and hard-earned cash as an outright selection. So I was a little unsatisfied and disappointed with their display against Mali in the opener.
Of course, great credit must go to Mali. Coming into the competition with a tag for ugly, physical and direct football, they attacked the Indomitable Lions down the flanks and found a weakness. Cameroon looked slightly susceptible to pace that night and no doubt that’s an area Guinea will be looking to target on Saturday evening too.
As well as being a little fragile at the back, German coach Volker Finke will no doubt have been unimpressed with his misfiring forwards. Eric Choupo-Moting was almost anonymous and Vincent Aboubakar was feeding off scraps. Both areas will need be tweaked and improved upon.
Skipper Stephane M’Bia returns from suspension for Cameroon to bolster the ranks but Eyong Enoh will be absent from the midfield. They remain a force and a team I want to be with but at a best-price of even-money, I’m happy to look elsewhere for my best bet.
Guinea won hearts and minds for their incredible story to reach the finals. Forced to play all their home games in Morocco after the deadly Ebola pandemic spread across the nation, Michael Dussuyer’s side defied expectations, stigma and upheaval.
Dussuyer’s strong leadership continues to inspire the Sparrow Hawks and although they’re again likely to be without skipper and centre half Kamil Zayatte again. Ivory Coast failed to really create any openings against Guinea but with just one clean sheet during qualifying, you don’t get the impression they’ll be able to keep the Indomitable Lions out.
Going forward Guinea are packed with talented personnel. Seydouba Soumah returns from suspension and joined with the likes of Ibrahima Traore, Mohammed Lamine and Mo Yattara can offer a menacing counter-attacking threat. The Sparrow Hawks have only failed to score once in 17 outings and will fancy their chances of getting on the scoresheet.
Guinea have seen Both Teams To Score prove a winner in 12/15 games now and it’s also banked in 4/9 Cameroon matches since the World Cup. Coral have made a repeat a 6/5 chance, which holds the most appeal.
I had look at the option of backing Betfair’s Exactly 2-3 Goals market but at even-money it’s a shorter price and neither side have strong enough trends to take that bet, even though 9/14 Nations Cup games have already produced Exactly 2-3 Goals.
Cameroon v Guinea – Both Teams To Score (6/5 Coral)