Senegal and Nigeria looking to avoid AFCON upsets
The quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations will get underway on Wednesday and Senegal (7/4 to win AFCON) and Nigeria (11/2) will be looking to avoid being on the receiving end of any potential upsets.
Senegal will take on Benin in Wednesday’s first quarter-final and they were highly fancied coming into the tournament, although they could only finish second in their group after losing to Algeria, while they were not at their best as they edged past Uganda in the last-16 (Match Betting – Senegal 2/5, Draw 16/5, Benin 9/1).
The Lions of Teranga do have plenty of individual quality within their squad which has helped carry them through to the quarter-finals and if the likes of Sadio Mane and Ismaila Sarr can find their best form, then they should secure a place in the semi-finals.
However, Benin should not be completely written off, as they are yet to lose at this year’s tournament and have already sprung a surprise by seeing off Morocco via a penalty shoot-out in the last-16.
Group stage draws against Ghana and Cameroon have further underlined the resilience of Michel Dussuyer’s side, whose star man is former West Brom and Sunderland midfielder Stephane Sessegnon.
Wednesday’s second quarter-final will see Nigeria take on South Africa (Match Betting – Nigeria 23/20, Draw 19/10, South Africa 16/5).
Both sides were involved in exciting matches in the last round, with Nigeria beating defending champions Cameroon 3-2 in arguably the game of the round, while South Africa caused the biggest shock after dumping out hosts Egypt 1-0 (South Africa to beat Nigeria 1-0 – 7/1).
Nigeria may prove a bridge too far for Bafana Bafana in the quarter-finals, however, as the Super Eagles seemingly played their way into form against Cameroon.
Gernot Rohr’s side should also have learned from their shock defeat to Madagascar during the group stage, while they have recent experience of going all the way in the Cup of Nations following their 2013 triumph.
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