Heavyweight clash too close to call
Ivory Coast v Egypt
Wed, 16:00 GMT
Live on Sky Sports
Wednesday afternoon brings a fascinating clash between two heavyweight sides with genuine hopes of winning the title.
In the most basic sense, this is a clash of styles. Ivory Coast played arguably the most effectively attack-minded and swashbuckling football of the opening round. Their opponents Egypt were a lot less prolific in front of goal but had good control in most of their matches and go into this fixture with good momentum thanks to consecutive 1-0 victories.
Ivory Coast are 2.3411/8 to win in 90 minutes, with Egypt 4.03/1 and The Draw 3.02/1. Those prices in the Match Odds market look about right.
The Elephants’ first-round results show how many weapons they have in their armoury. Five different players got on the scoresheet, with Nicolas Pepe netting twice, and Max-Alain Gradel, Sebastien Haller, Franck Kessie and Ibrahim Sangare all weighing in with goals as well.
The pace and quality of some of Ivory Coast’s play on the counter-attack was tremendous. Yet Egypt will be more tactically astute than the three sides Ivory Coast faced in the opening round (Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone and an Algeria side that were staring elimination in the face, forcing them to take an ultra-attacking approach). This will blunt the favourites’ sharpness up front.
It’s hard to find much value across most of the markets on this game, but Corners may provide an opening.
In the Corners Match Bet market on the Sportsbook, Ivory Coast are 1.538/15, with Egypt 3.02/1 and the Tie 6.511/2.
The strength of Ivory Coast’s favouritism is misplaced based on the raw stats from the games these two sides have played so far.
Across the tournament Ivory Coast have won 15 corners and conceded 16. Egypt, on the other hand, have won 24 corners and conceded 10.
We recommended splitting your stakes across Egypt and the Tie in this market. That way, you’ll make a profit as long as Ivory Coast don’t have the higher number of corners in 90 minutes.
Low goals the smart selection
Mali v Equatorial Guinea
Wed, 19:00 GMT
Live on Sky Sports
Mali are many people’s underrated pick to win the tournament as they’ve fallen in the easier side of the draw for the knockout phase.
A win here and Mali would face either Senegal or Cape Verde in the quarter-finals, followed by a semi-final against either Burkina Faso or Tunisia.
That presents Mohammed Magassouba’s players with a far from insurmountable route to the final, so you might like to consider Mali at 10.09/1.
On this game, Mali are 1.758/11 to win in 90 minutes, with Equatorial Guinea 6.611/2 and The Draw 3.412/5. Those prices look about right.
Instead of delving into the Match Odds market, the smart selection would be to back a low-scoring encounter.
Four of the six group games featuring these two sides contained either no goals or one goals, with the other two matches containing exactly two goals.
At the time of writing, 21 matches in the tournament have featured no goals or one goal, eight matches have had exactly eight goals, and 11 matches have had three or more goals.
Under 2.0 is available on the Goal Lines market at 1.84/5. This would be the soundest selection on the game.
Mohamed Salah has been a lurking and occasionally dangerous presence for Egypt so far. With one goal to his name, there’s better to come from the Liverpool striker. As ever, he’ll be his country’s most important player as they take on Ivory Coast.
Salah is 3.185/40 in the Anytime Goalscorer market. Those odds will be appealing on a player that has 46 goals in 78 international appearances.
For Ivory Coast, Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe has shone at the tournament. He has twice found the net, with his form suggesting he’ll be in the starting line-up.
The attacker is 3.7511/4 to add to his tally. Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and Burnley’s Maxwel Cornet are available at the same odds.