Tournament heavyweights Nigeria and Egypt are both in action on Saturday. James Eastham looks at the smart bets in their Group D games...
"Egypt struggled to break down the Nigerian defence in their opening game and may have similar problems here. Guinea Bissau looked well-organised in their 0-0 draw vs Sudan and avoiding defeat will be their priority again."
Nigeria look far too strong
Nigeria vs Sudan (Group D)
Sat, 16:00 GMT
Nigeria are top of Group D after their 1-0 opening-game win over Egypt and will be confident of making it two wins from two vs weak opponents.
The Super Eagles played well against Egypt, and deservedly won. There were question marks over Nigeria's chances of doing well at these finals as they sacked manager Gernot Rohr last month, but their performance in that first match suggests they can go a long way in the tournament.
Nigeria are 1.271/4 to win against a weak Sudan side, so it would be smart to look for other ways to make them pay. 'Yes' is available at 1.68/13 on the Nigeria Win to Nil market, while Nigeria are 2.001/1 with a -1.5 start on the Asian Handicap market (for a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here).
This game will be played in baking-hot afternoon heat in the city of Garoua, with temperatures expected to be in the mid-30s throughout the game. This may affect Nigeria's stamina, and prevent them seeking further goals late on if the points are already in the bag.
For that reason, it may be smart to expect this game to follow the low-scoring trend we've seen at the tournament so far. On the Goal Lines market, Under 2.0 & 2.5 is available at around 2.001/1, and that's our selection on this game. With this pick, you'll make a profit as long as the game has fewer than three goals.
Underdogs set to frustrate Egypt
Guinea Bissau vs Egypt (Group D)
Sat, 19:00 GMT
Guinea Bissau are one of several nations in the tournament that have suffered covid outbreaks within their squad, so we don't yet know if they'll be able to field their strongest side. Yet they'll be confident of frustrating an Egypt line-up that were deeply disappointing when they lost 1-0 to Nigeria in their opening game.
Heavily reliant on Mohamed Salah for inspiration in the final third, Egypt struggled to break down the Nigerian defence, and may have similar problems here. Guinea Bissau looked fairly well-organised in their opening-game 0-0 draw vs Sudan, and avoiding defeat will be their priority again.
Egypt are 1.434/9 favourites, with Guinea Bissau 10.519/2 and The Draw 4.3100/30. Opposing Egypt would be risky, but the short odds on the Pharaohs throw up other interesting options.
Guinea Bissau +1.0 & 1.5 Asian Handicap is available at 1.9520/21. With this selection, you'll make a profit as long as the underdogs avoid defeat by two or more goals. Given how close the bulk of the games at the tournament have been so far, this selection has plenty of appeal.
Alternatively, consider backing this fixture to follow the tournament's low-scoring pattern. On the Goal Lines market, Under 2.0 & 2.5 is available at 1.910/11. At the time of writing, 12 of 14 games (86%) at the tournament have had two goals or fewer, so the odds are in your favour.
Three Premier League players started for Nigeria in their 1-0 win over Egypt - William Troost Ekong (Watford) and Leicester City duo Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho - while Alex Iwobi (Everton) appeared off the bench.
Mohamed Salah will be the main man as usual for Egypt and will attract plenty of attention in the markets. The Liverpool striker is 1.84/5 to get off the mark for the tournament in the Anytime Goalscorer market, and 2.89/5 in the Anytime Assist market.
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