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African Cup Of Nations 2015 Betting Preview & Tips
The 2015 African Cup Of Nations gets under way on Saturday 17th January, and will be the 30th edition of this prestigious tournament. First held in 1957, AFCON features a total of sixteen teams, who have been divided into four groups of four, with the group winners and runners-up progressing to the quarter final stage.
Fears over the Ebola crisis caused Morocco to pull out as host nation, and as a result Equatorial Guinea have been installed as the last minute replacement. Matches will take place in four cities – Bata, Malabo, Mongomo and Ebebiyin. While this is a less than ideal situation, circumstances have dictated and the participants and fans alike will need to make the best use they can of the basic facilities.
Ivory Coast have been put in as the 4/1 favourites with bookmaker Coral, but they are as short as 3/1 in a place. The Ivorians sailed through the African Cup Of Nations qualification process, securing five wins from their six games played. Having won their group, the Ivory Coast have been a little unfortunate with regard to the draw for the competition proper, and now find themselves in a Group D alongside both Cameroon and Mali, two of the most dangerous sides in the tournament.
Cameroon can be supported at a best price of 11/1 with Betfred, while Mali are on offer at odds of 28/1 with Betfair, but are just half that price at bet365 who have chalked Mali up at 14s. Guinea make up the sides in Group D, but would appear to have little hope of picking up any points, let alone making it to the knockout stage of AFCON. The rank outsiders are 80/1 at Unibet, but again there is some discrepancy about their chances, as Betfred and Totesport are as short as 28/1!
My personal fancy for this year’s African Cup Of Nations are Christian Gourcuff’s exciting Algerian side. Having reached the last sixteen in last year’s World Cup, Algeria are heading to Equatorial Guinea as the highest rated team taking part. In Porto’s Yacine Brahimi, Algeria have one of the very best players in tournament, and he is sure to be crucial to this nation’s chances of success. Their counter-attacking style has won Algeria many fans in recent times, and they have obviously impressed the bookies also, with the Algerian’s having been put in as the 9/2 second favourites, just half a point bigger than the Ivory Coast.
Along with the favourites, Ghana are the African side with the most consistent record in recent years. Currently ranked at number 37 in the world by FIFA, Ghana have been as high as 14 and in 2010, became just the third African nation to reach the quarter final stage of the World Cup. Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant took up the reigns of the Ghana national team in November of last year, and the 2015 African Cup Of Nations will see Grant manage the team in competitive action for the very first time. On that basis, I find it hard to envisage the Ghanaian’s winning the tournament. Ghana can be backed at a best price of 9/1 with Ladbrokes.
This year’s African Cup Of Nations might be lacking when it comes to modern facilities and capacity crowds, but I feel that the standard of football will be more than up to scratch. Football fans look set for three weeks of enthralling action and it will all come to a head on February 8th when the final will be played in the Estadio de Bata. I’ll be supporting Algeria, and fully expect Christian Gourcuff’s men to reach the latter stages of the competition.
Back Algeria at 9/2 with bet365