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African Nations Cup Last 16: Algeria ready to dazzle and entertain once again

Manchester City and Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez is set to start after being rested for Algeria's final group game against Tanzania (3-0 win)

Djamel Belmadi's side have another opportunity to underline their title credentials while surprise package Madagascar look to continue their stunning form on Sunday, writes James Eastham...

"Algeria have been arguably the most impressive team in the competition so far. There's a good chance they'll win by more than one goal given the attacking quality they have in their squad."

Best Bet: Back Algeria -0.5&-1.0 Asian Handicap v Guinea @ 2.001/1

Underdogs the smart selection

Madagascar vs DR Congo
Sunday July 7, 17:00 BST
Live on Eurosport 2

Madagascar have been the surprise package of the tournament but the question is whether they can continue upsetting the odds as they prepare to face a resurgent DR Congo in Alexandria on Sunday.

First-time finalists Madagascar caused uproar when they beat Nigeria 2-0 in their final group game to clinch top spot in Group B. They had already impressed with a 1-0 win over Burundi and 2-2 draw against Guinea so they'll head into this last-16 clash firmly believing they can reach the last eight.

DR Congo arrive on the back of a 4-0 win over Zimbabwe, however. With their backs to the wall they produced a dominant performance to make up for 2-0 defeats to Uganda and Egypt in their opening two fixtures. Star player Cedric Bakambu scored twice in the win over Zimbabwe meaning the Leopards finally have some momentum.

Yet the price of 2.35/4 on a DR Congo win holds little appeal. There's no reason to believe they deserve their status as clear favourites given how these two sides performed in the group stage. Madagascar are a far more appealing selection at 3.613/5, and the big odds on Nicolas Dupuis' underdogs throw up good options to side with Madagascar in other markets as well.

Consider laying DR Congo to win at 2.3211/8, backing Madagascar on the Draw No Bet market at 2.68/5 or backing Madagascar with a small Asian Handicap start (for a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here).

Time for Guinea to wave goodbye

Algeria vs Guinea
Sunday July 7, 20:00 BST
Live on Eurosport 2

No matter which way you look at it this game is a mismatch and it would be a major surprise if Algeria failed to go through. We flagged up the Fennecs as potential champions before the tournament kicked-off and their price has shortened a little on the back of their excellent first-round performances.

Algeria had a perfect record of three wins from three group games and have been arguably the most impressive team in the competition so far. The strength in depth of Djamel Belmadi's squad was apparent when the manager changed virtually the entire starting line-up for Algeria's final group game against Tanzania, yet Algeria still ran out 3-0 winners, with two-goal scorer Adam Ounas outstanding.

The confidence coursing through the Algeria camp means they're worth backing at 1.768/11 to win. There's a good chance Algeria will win by more than one goal, however, given the attacking quality they have, so Algeria are worth considering at bigger odds on the Asian Handicap. Riyad Mahrez, Baghdad Bounedjah and Islam Slimani have all been on the scoresheet so far, and Ounas will be keen to show his two-goal performance against Tanzania was no fluke.

Guinea qualified as the third-best team from Group B thanks to a 2-0 win over Burundi but were helped by the fact that Burundi played with 10 men for 80 minutes. Paul Put's side failed to impress in their previous two matches - a 2-2 draw against Madagascar and 1-0 defeat to Nigeria - and the absence of injured star player Naby Keita all but ends what slim hopes they had of causing an upset.

James’ tournament P/L

Staked: 38pts
Returned: +44.60pts
P/L: +6.60pts

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