Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Equatorial Guinea vs Ivory Coast Preview

Equatorial Guinea vs Ivory Coast Preview

Ivory Coast

The Ivory Coast are always among the top teams in Africa producing the best names in African football, and there is a new generation of talent eager to make a name for themselves on the African continent. Equatorial Guinea are nowhere near their opposition’s pedigree, but a young squad under an ambitious and well-thought out coach the future looks bright. This final fixture of matchday one is one I cannot miss!

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Africa Cup of Nations – Group E
Wednesday 12 January
Japoma Stadium

To Win
Equatorial Guinea 56/10
Draw 5/2
Ivory Coast 5/10

Equatorial Guinea

Quite possibly the youngest average age (+-23) of any AFCON squad, Equatorial Guinea’s coach Juan Micha oversees both the Under-17 and the national first team. This team has 14 of its 28 players playing in leagues from Spain’s top leagues and have worked together under Micha for some time.

The National Thunder were just two points behind Tunisia in their World Cup qualifying group and now they are set to face some tough opposition again. Equatorial Guinea doesn’t have the highest quality team, but when players are playing at a similar level and playing together under the same manager for long, team chemistry can go a long way in a cup run.

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Ivory Coast

Among the favourites to lift the trophy, Ivory Coast has always been a football giant on the African continent. With the likes of Serge Aurier and Eric Bailey in defence, Frank Kessie and Maxwell Cornet, and on the edge of this Elephants attack Nicolas Pepe, Wilfried Zaha and this season’s Champions League leading scorer Sebastien Haller, this team is bound to do damage to a lot of opposition.

The last time they lifted the trophy was in 2015, and they have had some internal struggles among players since then. French coach Patrice Beaumille seems to have brought some harmony in the camp but lacked that finishing touch in qualifying for this year’s World Cup finishing their group behind rivals Cameroon.

The team play good football to watch and a little more cohesion could take them a long way, I believe they are real contenders for this trophy.

Prediction: Ivory Coast Win (5/10)

It’s a no brainer to me, the bigger team with the bigger names, with more pedigree is bound to make a statement in their opening fixture, and at 5/10 I am all over the Elephants.

Written by Joshua Gaillard