Sierra Leone came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw against Ivory Coast last Sunday, keeping their chances of reaching the Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 alive.
Prior to that, John Keister’s side started their AFCON campaign with a goalless draw against reigning champions Algeria in their group opener last Tuesday.
Sierra Leone is now third in Group E, one point behind Thursday’s opponent and two behind leaders Ivory Coast, with two points from their first two games.
While the Leone Stars require all three points to qualify for the knockout stages, they have only won one of their last ten games in all competitions.
Equatorial Guinea, on the other hand, produced one of the tournament’s most surprising results when they defeated Algeria 1-0 on Sunday.
This came after a 1-0 loss to Ivory Coast in their group opener on January 12, when Max Gradel scored the game’s only goal inside the first five minutes.
Equatorial Guinea’s next opponent is a team that they have failed to beat in each of the last three meetings between the two sides since 2008, losing twice and drawing once.
Sierra Leone WLLLDD
Sierra Leone enters this match after a 2-2 tie with Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations.
In the match, Sierra Leone had 39 percent possession and seven shots on goal, four of which were on target. Sierra Leone scored the goals through Noah Kamara (55′) and Alhaji Kamara (93′). Ivory Coast had 18 shots on goal, eight of which were on target. Their goals came from Sébastien Haller (25′) and Nicolas Pépé (65′).
Sierra Leone’s attacking form has deteriorated in recent years. In their last six games, they have only scored four goals against other teams. Sierra Leone has also had eight goals scored against them in those meetings.
Equatorial Guinea WWDWDL
Equatorial Guinea will enter the contest on the back of a 1-0 Africa Cup of Nations victory over Algeria in their most recent match.
Equatorial Guinea had 31% possession and 8 shots on goal, four of which were on target, in the encounter. Obiang (70′) was the only Equatorial Guinea player to score. Algeria, on the other hand, had 13 shots on goal, three of which were on target.
Equatorial Guinea’s defense players have put up a string of strong performances, conceding only three goals in their last six games. During the same time frame, their own assault force scored six goals.
Injured and suspended
Sierra Leone: clean bill of health and no suspension concerns.
Equatorial Guinea: clean bill of health and no suspension concerns.
Sierra Leone Predicted XI: Kamara; Wright, Caulker, Bangura, Kakay; J Kamara, Quee, Turay, Bundu; K Kamara, A Kamara
Equatorial Guinea Predicted XI: Mbara; Akapo, Coco, Obiang, Ndong; Salvador, Ganet, Machin, Buyla; Nlavo, Nsue
Although it’s difficult to differentiate between the two teams, we believe Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone should both have enough chances to score.
There shouldn’t be much in it, and a draw appears to be a reasonable outcome. As a result, we’re betting on a close game that ends in a 0-0 draw when the referee blows the final whistle.
When Ivory Coast and Algeria face off in the final group game, all eyes will be on Japoma Stadium. The Elephants began their Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a 1-0 victory over Equatorial Guinea, but dropped two points in a 2-2 draw with Sierra Leone in their second group encounter after Badra Ali Sangare’s blunder. Ivory Coast is one point away from securing the playoff, but they will face a difficult task in the final.
Algeria’s performance in the tournament has fallen short of expectations, but Riyad Mahrez and his teammates should not be written out just yet. Yacine Brahimi is anticipated to reclaim his place in Algeria’s starting lineup.
Ivory Coast WWWLWD
Following a 2-2 Africa Cup of Nations tie with Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast will play in this encounter.
In that game, Ivory Coast had 61 percent possession and 18 shots on goal, 8 of which were on target. Sébastien Haller (25′) and Nicolas Pépé (65′) scored goals for Ivory Coast. Sierra Leone, on the other hand, had seven shots on goal, four of which were on target. Sierra Leone’s goals came from Noah Kamara (55′) and Alhaji Kamara (93′).
Ivory Coast’s backline has put in a lot of effort, as evidenced by their recent results.
Algeria and their travelling fans will be hoping for a better result here after losing their last game in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament against Equatorial Guinea.
In the match, Algeria had 69 percent possession and 13 shots on goal, three of which were on target. Equatorial Guinea had eight shots on goal, four of which were on target. Equatorial Guinea’s goal came from Obiang (70′).
In recent games featuring Algeria, the trend of at least one team failing to score has been pretty regular. This has happened five times in their last six games, according to their stats. In those encounters, the opposing teams have scored a total of three goals, with Algeria scoring thirteen.
Injured and suspended
Ivory Coast: (Eric Bailly)
Ivory Coast Predicted XI: Sangare; Aurier, Kossounou, Deli, Konan; Kessie, Seri, Sangare; Zaha, Haller, Pepe
Algeria Predicted XI: M’Bolhi; Bensebaini, Atal, Mandi, Bedrane; Belkebla, Brahimi, Boulaya; Mahrez, Bounedjah, Benrahma
We believe that Ivory Coast will have enough chances to break through Algeria’s defense, but that a single goal will not be enough to give them the victory they desire.
As a result, we expect a competitive encounter, with Algeria winning 1-2 after 90 minutes. It’ll be fascinating to see how this one turns out.
The AFCON match between Gambia and Tunisia, where the two teams are aiming for a place in the last 16, will take place at Limbe Stadium on Thursday. Gambia retained top spot in the standings after sharing the spoils with Mali in their second group game following a 1-0 win over Mauritania. The Group F leaders are one point away from making the playoffs, but it will be a mountain to climb.
On the home team, Musa Barrow, who scored the equalizer against Mali, will be the man to watch. Twelve years ago, Gambia upset Tunisia 2-1 in a friendly, indicating that the nominal visitors are itching for vengeance.
Gambia comes into this match after a 1-1 draw against Mali in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Gambia had 32% possession and six shots on goal, one of which was on goal.Musa Barrow (90′) was the only Gambia player to score. Mali, on the other hand, had 19 shots on goal, five of which were on target. Mali’s Ibrahima Koné scored in the 79th minute.
In as many as five of their prior sextet of matches leading up to this one, a wager on both teams scoring would have lost.
Tunisia will enter the match fresh off a 4-0 Africa Cup of Nations victory over Mauritania in their last match.
Tunisia had 54% possession and 13 shots on goal, eight of which were on target during the game.Hamza Mathlouthi (4′), Wahbi Khazri (8′, 64′), and Seifeddine Jaziri (66′) scored for Tunisia. Mauritania, on the other hand, had 11 shots on goal, one of which was on target.
In recent games featuring Tunisia, there has been a trend of at least one team failing to score a goal. It has happened five times in their last six appearances, according to their records. During these matches, opposition teams have scored a total of three goals, with Tunisia scoring ten.
Injured and suspended
Gambia clean bill of health and no suspension concerns.
Tunisia (Seifeddine Jaziri)
Gambia Predicted XI: Jobe; Modou, Colley, Gomez, Touray; Adams, Bobb, Marreh, Jallow; Barrow, Ceesay
Tunisia Predicted XI: Said; Mathlouthi, Ifa, Talbi, Maaloul; Slimane, Skhiri, Chaalali; Mejbri; Khazri, Laidouni
We believe that Gambia will need to apply a lot of pressure throughout the game in order to score against this Tunisia squad, which we believe will win.
As a result, we’ve picked Tunisia to win 0-1 at the end of 90 minutes.
Mali will play Mauritania in the decider on Thursday evening with the hopes of securing a top-two finish in Group F. Les Aigles shared the spoils with Gambia in their second group game after a 1-0 win over Tunisia.
Mali is on pace to reach the AFCON last 16, and a win over Mauritania will put them in position to do so.
Mauritania, on the other hand, does not appear to be competitive at this level, since the team is currently ranked last in Group F. In a 4-0 loss against Tunisia, the bottom-placed team failed to impress.
Following a 1-1 Africa Cup of Nations tie with Gambia, Mali will participate in this match.
Mali had 68 percent possession and 19 shots on goal, 5 of which were on target, in the encounter. Ibrahima Koné (79′) was Mali’s only goal scorer. Gambia had six shots on goal, one of which was on target. Gambia’s Musa Barrow scored in the 90th minute.
The number of nil results in recent Mali games has become a recurring topic. In the six games leading up to this one, a wager on “Both Teams to Score” would have been a loser in five of them. We’ll have to wait and see if that tendency continues into the next encounter.
Mauritania and their fans will be hoping for a better result this time after losing to Tunisia in their last Africa Cup of Nations match.
In the match, Mauritania had 46 percent possession and 11 shots on goal, one of which was on target. Tunisia had 13 shots on goal, eight of which were on target, against their opponents. Tunisia’s goals came from Hamza Mathlouthi (4′), Wahbi Khazri (8′, 64′), and Seifeddine Jaziri (66′).
It has been clear that Mauritania have struggled to score goals in their last six matches, scoring only one goal in the process.
Injured and suspended
Mali (El Bilal Toure)
Mauritania clean bill of health and no suspension concerns.
Mali Predicted XI: Mounkoro; Haidara, Kouyate, Sacko, Traore; Samassekou, Camara, Bissouma; Djenepo, Traore, Kone
Mauritania Predicted XI: Diop; Thiam, Abeid, Yali, Houbeibib; Karamoko, N’Diaye, Fofana, Mahmoud; Ba, Kamara
Our prediction is that Mali will win and maybe keep a clean sheet against Mauritania, who will find it difficult to score.
Mali will win by a 2-0 score at the end of the encounter, according to our prediction.