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  1. 2019 Africa Cup of Nation qualification, group stage. Only group winners and three best second placed teams qualify for final tournament. Here is the link with explanation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Africa_Cup_of_Nations_qualification Several interesting matches, here is my shortlist: Tanzania last time played at ACN nearly 40 years ago. Taifa Stars have a solid squad, capable of beating nearly anyone on home soil. Spent some time in Dar es Salaam a few years ago, locals are crazy about football, Simba and Young Africans are quality teams for African standards, with great support and good budgets. National team held a week long training camp in Egypt. Most of the players come from two local giants, but there also are three internationals. Captain Mbwana Samatta, had a good season with Racing Genk, Thomas Ulimwengu plays in Sweden top flight and young midfielder Musa signer last year for Tenerife. Visitors from Lesotho, come to Dar with players from local league, they have only one international, Napo Matsoso from University of Kentucky. Not very experienced team and by far the weakest in the group. So, if Tanzania want to stand any chance of winning this group ( Cape Verde and Uganda ane the other two teams in the group) they should beat Lesotho at home. Home win Libya should easily beat poor Seychelles tonight in Egypt. Libya with several players from European clubs, local champion Al Ahli managed to reach group stage of CAF Champions league (played 0:0 vs Zamalek two weeks ago and last week won 4:2 vs Caps United in Harare, in very impressive performance). Seychelles team consist of only local players, they are poor on the road and I think that Libya -2 ah is a safe bet and should deliver. Sudan also should win at home. Hosts missed last three editions of Nations Cup, they haven't some big stars in the squad, nor European based players, but local league is quite good for African standards and two Omdurman sides, Al Merrikh and Al Hilal, both participate on regular basis in the Champions league. Visitors improved in recent years, they come to Sudan with a small squad of just 18 players. Madagascar have several players from French lower leagues and it want be easy, but Sudan should at the end. Senegal are banker of the round vs Equatorial Guinea. Hosts without injured Sadio Mane, but with many great players like Keita Balde (Lazio), Moussa Sow (Fenerbahce), Mame Diouf (Stoke City), Koulibali (Napoli), Mbodji (Anderlecht) etc. Shbe an easy home win.
  2. Knock out stage, round of 16, Zambia play against Germany and should see of rather poor German team. African champion beat Portugal and Iran in the group stage and secured first place of group C, before last match. Zambians are fast, very dangerous in attack, they have two great players and future superstars in the squad. Patson Daka has won UEFA Youth League with Salzburg this season, scoring some vital goals against Barcelona and Benfica. Fashion Sakala already sign a contract with Russian champion, Spartak Moscow. These two guys are joy to watch and they will easily break slow German backline. The rest of the time is also well balanced, defence could be a worry, but Germans are very poor upfront. Germany brought a poor team to Korea, they had poor preparations and it's obvious that German FA's priority is EURO u21, not WC u20. Nearly all players have contracts with Bundes league teams, but very few of them had experience in top flight. They play mostly for amateur sides, in fourth tier. In group games, against Venezuela and Mexico, Germany failed to score and against amateurs form Vanuatu, Germany managed to win only 3:2. Midfielder Mittelstadt, who played several times for Hertha Berlin, got booked in this game and he is suspended for Zambia clash. I know it's never a good idea to underestimate German national team, but in this case I really think that Zambia have much more quality and should win this game in 90 minutes. So, my bets are Zambia to advance at 1,9 (Pinn, SBO,Bet365), Zambia level ball and Zambia to win.
  3. Very tricky round. I missed to back Tunisia due very low prematch odds. The game was played in Blida, Algeria. Tunisia did control the game and had possession, but Libyans were very dangerous on the break and had a clear goal disallowed in the first half. It's not easy to find some value, but I would go with Morocco DNB and Egypt DNB. Home advantage is crucial, teams from north Africa are very strong at home. Morocco finally managed to build a strong squad, they got a valuable point away in Gabon and should go out for all three points at home. Ivory Coast beat Mali at home 3:1, but they were extremely lucky not to be down by two-three goals in the first half. Gervinho is injured and ruled out. Egypt have again very talented generation and they can dream about World Cup (they reached WC last time in 1990.). It's difficult to explain how golden generation of Aboutrika, Barakat,Hassan and Gomaa never reached it. Mohamed Salah is in top form, El Nenny plays for Arsenal, El Mohamadi has a great Premier league experience, Sobhi from Stoke City is very talented winger. They have also a great base of quality local players, mainly from Zamalek and Al Ahly and in front of home crowd, Egypt is unbeatable in Africa. Ghana with many problems, Avram Grant has no support from the fans, Asamoah Gyan is injured, Andre Ayew is not fully fit. In the first round, Ghana struggled against Uganda at home and failed to create more that 2-3 half chances during all game. On other side, Egypt won away, against Congo. Home win for me.
  4. First round, many close games. Only five group winners will qualify for Russia 2018, home games will be vital. DR Congo host Libya in Kinshasa, despite Libya's FA effort to move the game out of DRC, due post election political instability . DRC played really well in Nations Cup qualifiers, have some top players, like Bolasie, Mbokani, Afobe, Bakambu from Villareal, many solid local players from Vita Club and Mazembe. Visitors didn't qualify for Nations Cup, but managed to beat Cape Verde away, last month. They don't have some big names in the squad, but they are a hard nut to crack. Javier Clemente will leave Libyan bench next month, what's a strange move. DR Congo should bag all three points, but it won't be easy, nor pretty. Senegal is imo banker of the round. Very strong team, some class players, like Mane, Kouyaté, Sow, Kalidou Koulibaly. Visitors are in poor form, failed to qualify for Nations Cup, don't think that Cape Verde can match Senegal, should be an easy home win. Algeria have probably the best team in their history. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Islam Slimani (Leicester City), Hillal El Arabi Soudani (Dinamo Zagreb), Yacine Brahimi (FC Porto), Sofiane Feghouli (West Ham United) etc. Rajevac made a great success with Ghana, he knows African football. Cameroon with great past, but not so good nowadays, odds on Algeria should drop even more. Tunisia will not lose at home, so 1x should be considered as a banker. Also, I think that bookies to much favor Ivory Coast, they struggled against Sudan and Sierra Leone in the Nations Cup qualifiers, Drogba's generation is gone, Mali very solid team, with good coach Alain Giresse. So, I like + 1 ah on Mali, or + 1,5 for combo material.
  5. Eritrea play today in Asmara against Botswana. Hosts included in their squad several internationals. Most of them, play their football in English pub leagues, but there are two really big names. Henok Goitom of AIK Solna (16 goals this season for AIK, used to play for Udinese, Valladolid, Almeria and Sweden under 21) and Mebrahtu Golgol (Western Sydney Wanderers). Eritrean FA held talks with some other European based players (Joel Gebrezgabir (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Nahom Ghebru (FSV Frankfurt)), but they will not play against Botswana. Visitors are missing several key players, including top scorer Ramatlhakwane. Most of the players are from poor local league, 3-4 of they play in South Africa and midfielder Nato for Atletico Kolkata (just two days ago played all 90 minuted in Indian Hero Super League). Imo, visitors are not world beaters, home advantage is still very important in Africa and I think that Eritrea can achieve a positive result here. Eritrea +1 ah @ 1,85 Marathonbet 5/10 Eritrea +0,5 @ 2,5 Bet365 2/10
  6. Re: Africa Cup of Nations Qualifications Ten men Guinea managed to win somehow, so it's a good start. Today we have 11 more matches and my selection is as follows> Zambia should beat Mozambique at home. Hosts have superb h2h, never lost against Mozambique in 14 games, won last six. No more Harve Renard, but core of the team, ex African champion, is there. Good preparations, beat Sudan 3:1 in friendly, Mulenga and Mayuka arrived on time, important playmaker Kalaba is back, very strong team. On other hand, visitors had short two days preparations in South Africa, forward Reginaldo (Nacional) is injured and out, several solid European based players, but imo hosts are better in every part of the field. Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso are bankers of the round, low odds on home wins, so should try win to nil or both teams not to score. Ivory Coast without Drogba, Zokora, Kolo Toure, but still very strong side. Visitors without home based players, who were not allowed to enter Ivory Coast, due ebola fears. Burkina Faso reached WC play offs and ANC finals in 2013. Also, very strong and experienced squad, Lesotho by far the worst team in group stage, made a huge upset in pre qualifiers beating Kenya, most of the players are from poor local league, should be walk in the park for Burkina Faso. Ghana should also win without big problems against Uganda. I found an interesting article in Ugandan newspapers.. "There are exactly 168 months since the Black Stars of Ghana lost a home fixture in any qualifier (AFCON, World cup or CHAN). George Weah’s brace back in 2000 helped Liberia win 1–3 against Ghana. Since then, Ghana has won all her home fixtures against whichever opposition. Such is the position that Uganda Cranes, who have only registered 3 away victories in 14 years face ahead of Saturday’s crucial qualifier at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi against the home side." Visitors came to Ghana without two best attackers, Okwi and Massa, I don't fancy Uganda chances at all. Tunisia are also on my list. Last time, in qualifiers for ANC 2012, Botswana managed to beat Tunisia in both legs and it was a huge upset. Tunisians failed to produce some top players in recent years, but they still have very strong local league and are huge favorites on home soil against Botswana. Also, I expect Nigeria to win, it will be an ugly game, Congo not so bad on paper, but played terrible in last round and got eliminated by Rwanda. CAF later punished Rwanda for fielding an ineligible player (issue with two passports and different personal data). It's interesting that this player scored all three goals for Rwanda against Libya, who got eliminated in the round before. Congo most probably without Ndinga from Olympiakos and centar defender Samba (played terrible for QPR, now in Dynamo Moscow), but with some solid players from Europe. I dont expect an easy game, but three points should be on Super Eagles account. Other games are imo to tricky, odds on Mali too low, many times failed to deliver at home.
  7. Re: Africa Cup of Nations Qualifications Guinea - Togo 1 @ 2,3 Bet365, Betway, WH Friday 5-th September KO 20h Odds on Guniea are raising, but I'll go against market trend here. Duo ebola virus, this game will be played on neutral field in Casablanca. Guinea have been for years, maybe even decades, one of better African teams, never a top team, but lets say in top 10. Togo reached WC in Germany and progressed to quoter finals on ANC in South Africa, but that's it. Guinea much more balanced side, with most of the players from good European teams. This year, Guniea played two frendlies and beat Iran and Mali, both times 2:1. This is Guinea squad for today's game: Gardiens : Abdoul Aziz Kéita (AS Kaloum), Naby Yattara (AC Arles Avignon) Défenseurs : Ibrahima Sory Bangoura (Horoya AC), Fodé Camara (Horoya AC), Abdoulaye Cissé (Angers), Mohamed Diarra (BK Odense), Florentin Pogba (Saint-Etienne), Baissama Sankoh (EA Guingamp), Issiaga Sylla (Toulouse FC) Milieux : Kevin Constant (Trabzonspor), Ibrahima Conté (Zulte Waregem), Sadio Diallo (FC Lorient), Boubacar Fofana ( CD Nacional Funchal), Moussa Demi Kéita (Horoya AC), Naby Kéita (FC Red Bull Salzburg), Guy Michel Landel (Orduspor) Attaquants : Alhassane Bangoura (Rayo Vallecano), Aboubacar Demba Camara (Gaziantespor), Seydouba Soumah (Slovan Bratislava), Idrissa Sylla (Zulte Waregem), Ibrahima Traoré (Monchengladbach), Mohamed Lamine Yattara (Lyon). Atmosphere in Guinea camp is great. Very often you can read about unpaid bonuses and even strikes, when African teams play their matches, but it's not the case with Guniea. Former AC Milan attacker, now with Trabzonspor, Kevin Constant, promised 5.000 USD for each member of NT, if Guinea reach the final tournament in Morocco. I don't have to much info about Togo, Adebayor is again part of NT and they have several good European based players. Adebayor is not fully fit and he has to pass late fitness test. This their squad list: Gardiens : AGASSA Kossi (France / REIMS), MENSAH Cedric (France/SR COLMAR), ATSU Mawugbé (Togo/MARANATHA) - Défenseurs : OURO AKORIKO Sadate (Afrique du Sud/ -AMAZULU) ; GAFAR Mamah (Moldavie/ DACIA FC) ; AKAKPO Serge (Ukraine/ HOVERLA FC) ; BOSSOU Vincent (Vietnam/ HUNG VUONG AN GIANG FC) ; DONOU Kokou(Togo/ MARANATHA) ; EMMANUEL Mathias (Zambie/ ZESCO UNITED) - Milieux : AMEWOU Komlan (EAU/ Al SHAAB), ROMAO Alaixys (France/OM), WOME Dove (Afrique du Sud/ SUPER SPORT), SEGBEFIA Kossi Prince (Ukraine/FC ZARYA LOUHANSK), AYITE Floyd (France/ BASTIA), ZATO Arouna Farid (ISLANDE /KR REYKJAVIK), DOSSEVI Matthieu (Grèce/ OLYMPIAKOS), AKPOVO Nenie Innoncent (Togo/ SEMASSI), ATAKORA Lalawele (Suède/ AIK). - Attaquants : ADEBAYOR Sheyi (Angleterre/ TOTTENHAM), AYITE Jonathan (Turquie/ ALANYASPOR), GAKPE Serge (France/ NANTE), ABRAW Kamaldine (Afrique du Sud/FREE STATE STARS), LABA Kokou Fodo (Togo/ ANGES DE NOTSE). I expect a close game, but Guinea's quality should prevail at the end.
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