Hi gang! We’ve reached the quarter finals of the AFCON and there are four great games in store! Before that, I’ve looked at some of the Champions League qualifiers on Tuesday.
Astana 1 v 0 Cluj – Tuesday 9 July – Champions League qualifier – Under 2.5 Goals (1.45)
The season is already well underway in Kazakhstan, so I think that Astana have the advantage. Cluj haven’t been to the Champions League group stage since 2012/13, and they lost to Malmo in the qualification stage a year ago. I’m going for a Home Win and I’m backing Under 2.5 Goals, which happened in five of Astana’s six qualifiers last season.
Sarajevo 0 v 2 Celtic – Tuesday 9 July – Champions League qualifier – Celtic Win (1.55)
Both of these teams won their domestic leagues last season, but they have different levels of experience in Europe. Sarajevo haven’t even been involved in Champions League qualification since 2015, and they’ve lost both of their pre-season friendlies. Celtic, on the other hand, have won two of their three recent friendlies. They’re the better team, so I can only see an Away Win.
Suduva 0 v 1 Crvena Zvezda – Tuesday 9 July – Champions League qualifier – Crvena Zvezda Win (1.40)
These teams met a year ago in the qualification stage, and Crvena Zvezda ran out 5-0 winners on aggregate. I’m going to back them this year, too. They made it to the group stage last year, where they beat eventual winners Liverpool at home. I know that this is an away game, but I still think they will win here.
Senegal 2 v 1 Benin – Wednesday 10 July – AFCON 2019 – Senegal Win (1.40)
Senegal have looked very strong lately. They’ve won eight of their last ten games in all competitions and they’ve only conceded twice in that time. Benin have drawn all four of their matches at the tournament so far but scraped through the group stage thanks to their goal difference, before beating Morocco on penalties. I think their luck will run out here though. I see a Senegal Win.
Nigeria 1 v 0 South Africa – Wednesday 10 July – AFCON 2019 – Under 2.5 Goals (1.35)
Nigeria knocked out the holders Cameroon on Saturday in a 3-2 win, and have now won three of their four games in Egypt. I don’t think they’ll score three goals here, though. There have been Under 2.5 Goals in eight of their last ten games. South Africa beat hosts Egypt, which was a huge shock. They have two 1-0 wins and two 1-0 defeats so far, and I think their inconsistency is a big problem. Even though Nigeria haven’t been dominant at the tournament, I think they’ll win.
Ivory Coast 0 v 1 Algeria – Thursday 11 July – AFCON 2019 – Algeria Win (2.15)
Ivory Coast beat Mali 1-0 in the last round in a performance was typical of their tournament so far. The Elephants have won three games and scored six goals, but four of those came against Namibia. I think they will struggle again when they take on Algeria, who haven’t conceded yet at the AFCON. They have won eight and drawn two of their last ten games, so I have to go for an Algeria win.
Madagascar 1 v 1 Tunisia – Thursday 11 July – AFCON 2019 – Both Teams to Score (2.30)
Madagascar march on! I thought they’d get past DR Congo on Sunday, and I still expect them to frustrate Tunisia. The surprise package at the FACON have scored seven goals so far (only Algeria have more) and are still unbeaten. Like Madagascar, Tunisia reached the quarter finals after a penalty shootout win, but they played over a day later. The Carthage Eagles have drawn all four of their games so far (three have ended 1-1), and I can see another on here.