Dave Farrar predicts the fight for third place in Gabon will go down to which team wants it most...and that's not Ghana.
“Based purely on performances here, Burkina Faso should be favourites for this, and based on a reading both teams' likely motivation for the game in Port Gentil, their price should contract even more.”
Burkina Faso got so close, while Ghana fell well short, and now the two countries face a game that they don't want to play, and many shouldn't really want to bet on. And we can't even fall back on the "third/fourth place games can be classics" line that often used to apply at World Cups and European Championships.
The last third/fourth place match in the Africa Cup of Nations finished 0-0, and I can't see this one suddenly exploding into life. Both sides will want to get the bronze medal, but with the big prize gone, and with so many of these players committed to serious campaigns in their domestic Leagues, it may just come down to who wants it more.
There's no question that Burkina Faso have been the surprise package in Gabon: the way that they put out a good Tunisian side and then pushed Egypt all the way was really impressive, and they've overperformed. They and DR Congo can count themselves as the hard luck stories of AFCON 2017.
Ghana played well for a half to get past DR Congo, but aside from that they have been poor. A former Chelsea player of some note once told me that Avram Grant was the best Coach that he'd ever worked under, but I can't see it, and his tactics and approach have sucked the life out of Ghana. I thought that their legendary spirit might reappear in the semi-final, but I was wrong.
The nature of Burkina Faso's exit - going out on penalties to Egypt - will mean that they're keen to at least go away with third place from Gabon, and there's a real chance that Ghana's players will have one foot on the plane back to their domestic leagues.
Based purely on performances here, Burkina Faso should be favourites for this, and based on a reading both teams' likely motivation for the game in Port Gentil, their price should contract even more. They're not, and while I'd only recommend a small stake on this very tough to predict game, they're the only bet.
There's a case for Over 2.5 Goals at around [2.6] if both teams relax and play as they can, but recent history suggests that this doesn't really happen in this particular match and we've seen nothing (aside from the second half of Ghana v DR Congo) here to suggest that there's a strong chance of that.
So it comes down to who's been the better side here and who wants the win here more. And the answer to both of those questions is Burkina Faso, so by a tentative process of elimination, they have to be the bet at around [3.7].
Back Burkina Faso to beat Ghana at [3.7]