Africa Cup of Nations

Africa Cup of Nations Last 16: Back Osimhen to shine as the serious business starts

Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen will be the key man for Nigeria this weekend

After making a profit on the tournament's group stages, James Eastham reveals the smart plays on the first two Africa Cup of Nations Last 16 clashes taking place on Saturday...

  • Back low goals across both matches

  • Cagey affairs theme of the day

  • Star man Osimen will come good

Angola vs Namibia - Sat, 17.00

Low goals is the smart selection as Angola and Namibia go head-to-head in the first of the Africa Cup of Nations Last 16 ties.

This tournament has been higher-scoring than many predicted - the group phase averaged 2.47 goals per game - but there's no reason to believe the goals rate will remain as high during the knockout stages.

With the threat of immediate elimination hanging over their heads many teams will play more cagily, with the goals-per-game count likely to fall in consequence.

Namibia are already one of the tournament's low-scoring sides. They netted just once in their three group fixtures - their 1-0 opening-game win against Tunisia - so don't expect any great scoring feats from them here.

Namibia's best hope of reaching the quarter-finals will be to take a defensive approach here. In the group phase they picked up just four points compared to Angola's seven, so Namibia are the deserved underdogs.

Namibia are 16/54.20 to win in 90 minutes, while Angola are 1/12.00 and the Draw is 2/13.00. Those odds look fair based on how the two teams performed in the group stage.

If Namibia play defensively, however, they're capable of making this a tough afternoon for Angola. Namibia collapsed in their 4-0 defeat to South Africa but were solid in their other two games: aside from winning 1-0 vs Tunisia, they drew 0-0 against Mali in their final game.

Under 2.0 on the Goal Lines market is available at 1.910/11. We're happy to take those odds as the chances of three or more goals in normal time appear slim.

Back Under 2.0 on the Goal Lines market @ 1.910/11

Bet now

Nigeria vs Cameroon - Sat, 20.00

One of the Round of 16's most eagerly-awaited ties takes place on Saturday night as Nigeria face Cameroon.

Nigeria are 11/102.11 to win in 90 minutes, while Cameroon are 14/53.80 and the Draw is 2/13.00. While Nigeria's favouritism is understandable, the price on a Super Eagles victory in normal time looks too short to us.

Nigeria may have picked up seven points to Cameroon's four in the group phase but they weren't as superior to Cameroon as the odds suggest.

In their opening game Nigeria could only draw 1-1 against Equatorial Guinea. They then beat hosts Ivory Coast 1-0 but were a little lucky to do so, and then needed an own goal to secure a 1-0 win over an already-eliminated Guinea Bissau in their final group fixture.

Nigeria - 13/27.50 third favourites to lift the trophy - may go through here, but we wouldn't support them at the available odds. Cameroon - 25/126.00 ninth favourites in the outright market - similarly lack appeal.

One player we believe can come good in the knockout phase is Victor Osimhen. The Napoli striker has scored just once so far at the tournament, but there's potentially better to come from him. He's 13/82.63 in the Anytime Goalscorer market.

Despite the goals threat Osimhen poses, overall a fairly tight and low-scoring encounter would be no surprise. Four of six group games involving these two sides featured two goals or fewer, and we're expecting two goals or fewer in normal time this time around, too. Under 2.0 on the Goal Lines market is available at around 1.910/11.

Cameroon will look to defend more stubbornly than they did when conceding six times in the group phase and - Osimhen aside - there are few signs Nigeria will be clever enough to consistently threaten the Indomitable Lions' goal.

And why not try this Bet Builder?

Africa Cup of Nations Bet Builder P/L: +4.02pts

Back Nigeria vs Cameroon Under 2.5 Goals and Victor Osimhen in the Anytime Goalscorer market @ 5.47

Bet now

Now read this weekend's FA Cup previews here.

Recommended bets

James' AFCON P/L

Staked: 25pts
Returned: +28.94pts
P/L: +3.94pts


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