Having already qualified, Senegal could take their foot off the gas against Algeria, while Tunisia can beat Zimbabwe, predicts Dave Farrar.
“I recommend Over 2.5 Goals at odds against, based on the nature of this Group so far and the way that both teams like to play.”
Senegal have been the best team so far at this Africa Cup of Nations by some distance, and any of you who took my pre-tournament advice to back them are sitting pretty: they're trading now as strong favourites at [3.5].
Algeria have been a shambles, and I've been stunned by their ineptitude here. I've got them completely wrong, and I'm not sure how much some of their players care about winning this competition. I know that's a hell of an accusation, but they haven't looked prepared for the game, prepared to battle, in any shape to come and perform.
They have one final chance to redeem themselves, and know that they must win this and hope that Zimbabwe beat Tunisia narrowly. The late consolation goal that they scored against their North African rivals may be the one that scrapes them through.
Before any of that becomes relevant, though, they have to beat what is likely to be a second-string Senegal. The Group is won, and in a hectic schedule, Senegal have every right to take their foot off the gas.
That second string includes players like Moussa Sow and Mo Diame and so this version of Senegal will be anything but selling platers, and if I was having a bet in the Match Odds market it would be Senegal, who are nearly as big to win this game as they are to win the tournament, which emphasises the nonsensical nature of it all.
The truth is that I hate betting on games like this, as you're never sure what to expect. If Senegal name a strong side then they'll be the bet of the century, but as they almost certainly won't, I'll swerve them, DEFINITELY swerve Algeria, and recommend Over 2.5 Goals at odds against, based on the nature of this Group so far and the way that both teams like to play.
Recommended Bet: Back Over 2.5 Goals in Senegal v Algeria @ [2.2]
I didn't think that Tunisia had that win against Algeria in their locker, and hats off to them for a really good display. They'd created plenty of chances against Senegal and not taken them, but they found a route to goal against the Algerians and now will be full of confidence as they approach their final group game against Zimbabwe.
A draw puts Tunisia through, and that factor may colour their approach here. With Zimbabwe desperate to win, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Tunisians sit back and be happy to play on the counter-attack. They're very good at it, and will feel that they are defensively solid enough to keep out Zimbabwe.
I've a feeling that Zimbabwe may be on the brink of running out of gas here: they did brilliantly to scare Algeria in their opening game, but were torn apart by Senegal and should have lost by a lot more than the two goals that they did concede.
Tunisia, though, are growing into this tournament, and have emerged as a live outsider to go a long way. They're [13.5] to win the whole thing, and I've seen worse prices, but I'm happy with my lot in the outright market and so, on the basis that Zimbabwe have run their race, and that I expected to see Tunisia a bit shorter to win this one, I'll settle for backing them to win their final Group B game.
Recommended Bet: Back Tunisia to beat Zimbabwe @ [1.8]