AFCON 2023 – Group C – Guinea v Gambia

AFCON 2023
Match 18 | Guinea v Gambia
Friday 19 January | 22:00

Guinea are heavy favourites to claim victory here but will be wary of the threat posed by a plucky Gambia outfit that reached the quarter-finals in the last edition of AFCON.

To Win Match
Guinea 11/10 | Draw 7/4 | Gambia 26/10

Mohamed Bayo could hardly contain his excitement, after opening Guinea’s account at AFCON 2023 with just 10 minutes on the clock. The 25-year-old registered two shots on target in their opener against Cameroon, to announce Syli National’s arrival in Ivory Coast.

The forward is no stranger to the national team, but like many of his countrymen, will find it more than difficult to get into a scoring position with Serhou Guirassy on the pitch. A striker who has covered the European headlines, Guirassy’s exploits this season have been nothing short of remarkable. His tally of fourteen goals from the opening eight match days in the German topflight was a Bundesliga record. Furthermore, he maintained that early season form and recorded seventeen goals, before the winter break.

I am yet to see what the ceiling is for this team. They have one of the tournament’s best finishers, an up-and-comer as well as a midfield general, in Naby Keita. The former Liverpool man played no part in their tie against Cameroon but should feature in this one.

A defeat on opening day against defending Champions, Senegal, was always on the cards – however, three goals against and a straight red card (following VAR intervention) is simply not good enough.

Gambia mustered just two shots on target in their tournament opener, but their wingers did catch the eye! Former Bologna man Musa Barrow looked sharp but just couldn’t find the back of the net. 

There is the opposite flank, marshalled by Yankuba Minteh. The attacker is under contract by Premier League outfit, Newcastle United, and for good reason. On the day, his brave and direct running out wide made him a real handful for defenders.

Verdict: Guinea 11/10

Gambia aren’t short on explosive attacking talent, but after their 3-0 defeat to Senegal in their AFCON opener, I can’t see a recovery. With an unused Keita and Guirassy, I think Guinea will take this one as they look to stir things up in Group C!