Algeria vs Tunisia
2017 Africa Cup of Nations
Today, 17:00 pm (GMT+1)
If Group B of the African Cup of Nations 2017 is the ‘group of death’ then surely this match-up between Algeria and Tunisia can be billed as the crucial match in determining who progresses from their section of the draw and who gets an early flight home.
With Senegal lurking, both of these sides will be desperate to claim at least a point in their quest to at least match their performance in AFCON 2015, where they both reached the quarter-finals.
1. The Bookies Choice
There is also the pressure of getting one over on each other as African neighbours too, and so there is so much riding on this game.
At first glance Algeria have to be made favourites, and that’s because of the quality available in their squad. In an attacking sense Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani can continue their link-up from their club football at Leicester City, while Sofiane Feghouli, Rachid Ghezzal and Yacine Brahimi complete what is an outstanding midfield alliance.
Tunisia may contain less recognisable star names, but they do have bags of experience with five of their players possessing more than 30 international caps. On the big stage with the eyes of the world watching, that experience could prove vital.
So we’re expecting a tight encounter between two bitter rivals here; there is so much more at stake than just three points. Who will gain the bragging rights?
If any further insight was required into just how close this match could be then look no further than the bookmakers’ odds. Bet365 have made Algeria their narrow favourite at 2.30, but Tunisia are not far behind at 3.30.
The draw, which appears a distinct possibility here, is available at 3.10 with the same bookie.
2. Algeria vs Tunisia Betting Tips
As far as their current form is concerned, there is very little to choose between the two sides. Both were handed easy enough qualification routes, and Algeria in particular took theirs with both hands.
They blasted a huge 25 goals in six games, putting seven past Ethiopia, four by the Seychelles and six past Lesotho. If you needed any further persuasion about their attacking credentials then hopefully that is it.
The Algerians lost to eventual winners Ivory Coast in the AFCON of 2015, and that followed a memorable World Cup 2014 campaign in which they escaped the group for the first time (ahead of South Korea and Russia no less) before taking eventual winners Germany to extra time in the last 16. This is a young side that is improving with each big tournament appearance.
Tunisia didn’t qualify for the World Cup, and they will have been hugely disappointed to be knocked out of AFCON 2015 by Equatorial Guinea. At least they have a decent qualification campaign for this competition to fall back on, where they lost just once prior to topping Group A ahead of Togo, amongst others.
That said, this Algerian side is exciting on paper and has proven in their last pair of major tournament showings that they are very much capable on the big stage. As such, we’re predicting an Algeria victory here.
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