THE ‘Group of Death’ takes centre stage again on Friday with plenty at stake when Ghana meet Algeria. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) is on the hunt for the best value bet.
Ghana v Algeria | Friday 16.00 | Eurosport
By 6pm on Friday, less than a week after the tournament kicked-off, Ghana could be out of the competition. The Black Stars’ 2-1 loss in the final minute against Senegal has left Avram Grant’s team teetering on the edge ahead of a clash against Africa’s best-ranked side, Algeria.
Neither Ghana nor Algeria performed close to their best in their opening fixtures. Grant’s team found the going tough, especially when attempting to open up the Senegalese defence. The Black Stars managed just two shots-on-target with the second arriving in the 39th minute.
There’s a lack of options in forward positions and Grant’s admitted he may be forced into brining record goalscorer Asamoah Gyan into the team despite his recent bout of malaria. It’s the proof in the pudding that this Ghana side are struggling to stay afloat.
Ghana defender Jonathan Mensah has this week denied that the 3-5-2 formation used by Grant had caused them difficulties but with just one clean sheet in 12 now for the Black Stars, making a fifth successive Nations Cup semi-final looks way beyond them.
Simply getting a result against Algeria is imperative but they’ve only bagged four wins in their last 15 outings.
Algeria were nowhere near their peak against South Africa and rode their luck on the way to a 3-1 victory. Having gone a goal down, Bafana Bafana then missed a penalty before crumbling under the pressure from the Desert Foxes.
The display showed a resilience and character which we’ve come to expect from this Algerian side but the pitch in Mongomo meant the intricate short-passing systems introduced by coach Christian Gourcuff didn’t work as fluently as they would have hoped.
Algeria know three points is enough to put them into the last eight and they’ve also the added carrot of knowing it would prove a knockout blow to one of Africa’s heavyweights. With just two defeats in 25 now, it’s hard not to fancy them getting some sort of result.
I’m going to have a bit on Algeria -0.25 in the Asian Handicap market at 19/20 with BetVictor. At almost even-money we’re also getting the insurance of only losing half our stake should the favourites be held by the out-of-sorts Ghana side.
Ghana v Algeria – Algeria-0.25 (19/20 BetVictor)