As we proceed to the enterprise finish of AFCON 2023 following a dramatic group stage and last-16 knockouts, eight groups have battled and earnt their place within the quarterfinals.
With Ghana, Tunisia, Egypt, and Algeria all knocked out of the competitors, this yr’s trophy is nicely and really up for grabs. The quarterfinals will happen on the Friday 2nd and Saturday third February.
We preview one quarterfinal from every day beneath.
Nigeria vs Angola – Friday 17:00
Having been the primary crew to qualify for the quarterfinals after thrashing Namibia, Angola (24/5) now face Nigeria in Friday’s quarterfinal, who have been tipped as one of many favourites earlier than the group levels of the competitors. Angola have managed to progress from the group levels for the primary time in 14 years and may they proceed their scorching streak, they may advance to the semifinals for the primary time of their historical past.
Nigeria are actually the favourites going into this recreation at 13/20, having gone unbeaten up to now of their AFCON marketing campaign and beating some respectable opposition in Cameroon and hosts Ivory Coast. Boasting three clear sheets in all three of their victories, they are going to be a drive to be reckoned with in defence in addition to having some key attacking gamers who will you should definitely make a distinction. It may be mentioned that Nigeria have had a extra testing run up to now within the competitors than their opponents, so one can think about that they need to be higher ready for this recreation.
Angola have some very gifted gamers who will likely be trying to etch their names on the scoresheet ought to they break down the Nigerian defence. The primary of which is Gelson Dala (9/2) on the forefront of Angola’s attacking prowess, scoring 4 targets for his nation up to now of their marketing campaign. One other to control is Mabululu (9/2), who has scored in three of their 4 video games and poses a big risk in entrance of aim, exhibiting composure from the penalty spot in addition to in open play.
Nigeria have a reasonably strong outfit with regards to goalscorers, they usually’re but to totally unleash their potential on the pitch. Their key attacking gamers who will likely be trying to hit the again of the web embrace Napoli frontman Victor Osimhen (23/20) and fellow Serie A ahead Ademola Lookman (13/5), the latter of whom managed to attain a brace of their final fixture in opposition to Cameroon. Ought to the Nigerians discover their rhythm, we may see an actual distinction in school between the 2 groups regardless of Angola’s spectacular run up to now.
Mali vs Ivory Coast – Saturday 17:00
Mali have been shocking contenders in recent times however have greater than earnt their spot within the quarterfinals after topping their group, regardless of solely profitable one recreation in opposition to different quarterfinalists South Africa. They scraped a 2-1 victory within the spherical of 16 to progress additional within the competitors following a lucky personal aim by Burkina Faso defender Edmond Tapsoba within the opening minutes of the sport – they go into the quarterfinals because the underdogs at 5/2.
Regardless of a fortunate run within the competitors up to now, solely choosing up three factors within the group stage, Ivory Coast’s third-place end within the teams allowed them to enter the spherical of 16 in opposition to Senegal. They’ve since dismissed the reigning champions and progressed into the quarterfinals following a 5-4 win on penalties, and the hosts have their eyes set on the semis as they give the impression of being to outclass their north-African rivals Mali, beginning because the 23/20 favourites to take action.
One to look at for Mali forward of this recreation will likely be Lassine Sinayoko, who has already scored 3 times for his nation within the competitors and is 11/4 to internet once more on Friday. Subsequent within the betting to attain is current Mali call-up Youssoufou Niakaté at 7/2. This recreation could possibly be theirs for the taking in the event that they additional amp up their performances and put the strain on an Ivory Coast facet who’ve displayed fragilities on this competitors regardless of making it this far.
The host nation will pull no punches to appease the 1000’s of followers who will attend the quarterfinal, with Borussia Dortmund frontman Sebastian Haller eager to get his crew in entrance at 27/10. In behind Haller are each Karim Konate and Jean-Philippe Krasso at 14/5, with Krasso scoring of their essential opening 2-0 win in opposition to Guinea-Bissau within the group stage.
We are able to count on two incredible video games right here in addition to the opposite two, able to presenting some high quality soccer together with the colourful environment the AFCON followers convey time and time once more.