THE African Cup of Nations continues with Ghana’s clash against Guinea on Sunday. Mark O’Haire’s (@MarkOHaire) got the best bets for the duel.
Ghana v Guinea | Sunday 16.00 | Eurosport
The story of the Nations Cup so far, came on Thursday afternoon in a hotel in Malabo. Yes, Guinea were the lucky side to come out on top in the drawing of lots to decide who would join Ivory Coast from Group D in the quarter-finals. It was a pathetic and backward task and left poor Mali on the way home.
Still, the story arising around Guinea is starting to get people talking. The National Elephants were forced to play all their qualifying games away because of the tragic Ebola epidemic sweeping the nation back home. Many believe Michel Dussuyer’s side could repeat Zambia’s heroics in 2012 and go the distance.
If that’s to happen, Guinea are going to need to step up to the plate in Malabo on Sunday. Three 1-1 draws on paper looks a worthy achievement against some of Africa football’s heavyweights in Group D but after fast starts, Dussuyer’s men visibly faded in all three pool matches.
The National Elephants scored all three of their goals in the first 45 minutes and were made to hang on, especially in their final group game against Mali, just for a point. There’s no doubting their resolve and battling qualities but do they have the talent to reach the final four? After all, this is their first quarter-final appearance since 2008.
Interestingly, Ghana have almost proved a polar opposite to Guinea. The Black Stars collected their six points from two late shows against South Africa and Algeria which sent them to the top of Group C’s ‘Group of Death’. But in truth, Ghana have been far from impressive.
Avram Grant’s charges have toiled for long periods, struggling to create opportunities and looked far from impenetrable at the back. It’s a concoction that puts me off siding with the Black Stars.
These two sides have a good recent history of head-to-head battles. It’s advantage Ghana with W2-D2 in their four clashes since 2008 but interestingly, all four games featured Both Teams To Score winners and that’s a selection I want to explore again on Sunday.
Guinea have kept just one clean sheet (at home to Uganda) in their last 15 outings but do offer a menacing counter-attacking threat in the form of Ibrahima Traore, Mohammed Lamine and Mo Yattara. Dussuyer’s men have scored in 18/19 games now so you’ve got to assume they’re capable of adding to that tally. For the record, 13 of their last 15 have also featuring Both Teams To Score.
Ghana have scored in 12/13 matches now with 10/12 also giving Both Teams To Score backers winners too. So hopefully, your eyes will widen as big as mine when you hear that BTTS is available to back at a whopping 11/8 with Betfred. I think I’ve fallen in love…
Guinea v Ghana – Both Teams To Score (11/8 Betfred)