Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Burkina Faso vs Tunisia Preview

Burkina Faso vs Tunisia Preview

The Eagles of Carthage

Burkina Faso prepare for a high-stakes clash against Tunisia with the prize of a major semi-final berth within their sights. Meanwhile, the Eagles of Carthage have been quietly going about their business under the radar and could prove to be one of the dark horses during the knockout stage.

Africa Cup of Nations: Quarter-final
Saturday 29 January
Roumde Adjia Stadium

To Win
Burkina Faso 3/1
Draw 16/10
Tunisia 11/10

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso find themselves in the quarter-finals after securing a dramatic victory over Gabon, winning 7-6 at the Limbe Stadium in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out to continue their journey as one of the underdogs.

The Stallions were made to earn their ticket to this stage after captain Bertrand Traore’s goal was cancelled out with a few seconds left on the clock by Gabon captain Bruno Ecuele Manga’s bullet header, while also conceding a goal towards the end of the first half that was overruled by VAR.

Manager Kamou Malo would’ve had this past week to attempt removing the errors of his team’s performance, especially staying alert during the last five minutes of each half when opponents throw caution to the wind and begin committing more numbers inside Burkina Faso’s half.

Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Edmond Tapsoba has impressed throughout the Burkinabé campaign and will be grateful his teammates bailed him out after missing from the spot in the penalty shootout.

Goalkeeper Herve Koffi was last seen doing 10 consecutive backflips during the celebrations against Gabon and will always have to be alert to avoid conceding the same type of goal which saw Tunisia dump Nigeria out – a low and hard shot directed into the bottom-corner that deceived Super Eagles’ young shot-stopper Maduka Okoye.

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Tunisia always raise their game when the Africa Cup of Nations comes around and the Eagles of Carthage displayed their pedigree once again by knocking out highly-fancied Nigeria against the odds in the last-16.

Attacking midfielder Youssef Msakni’s goal proved to be the decider with the Tunisians having kept their cards close to their chest during the group stage against Mali, Mauritania and Gambia - not peaking too early, while every fan sitting on his couch at home could see exactly what Nigeria’s approach was and who their key players were from their three convincing wins.

This team isn’t gifted with numerous quality forwards compared to previous Tunisian outfits, so they make it difficult for opponents to play against them by using every ounce of energy to turn games into cagey contests where they pack the central midfield areas with three of four players.

Wahbi Khazri was sacrificed last time out for the team to become more rigid, while Manchester United’s 19-year-old starlet Hannibal Mejbri was an unused substitute after failing to make a significant impact during the first half of the 1-0 loss to Mali, then sitting out the win over Mauritania and came on for a 20-minute cameo appearance in the win over Gambia.

I strongly believe that coach Mondher Kebaier has many more tricks up his sleeve that will bear fruits from the surprise factor in the knockout stages.

Prediction: Away Win To Nil (Yes) (18/10)

Sadly, for the Stallions, I feel they’ve run their race, and this is the furthest they go with Tunisia expected to play better football with each passing game. In fact, I can firmly select Tunisia to win in 90 minutes and keep a clean sheet.

Written by Bryan Naicker