Get ready for football action as AFCON 2023 kicks off! The first three days promise to set the stage on fire with exciting matchups, and we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive guide to the top three opening duels.
But it’s not just about the game but also the bets. Join us for a quick dive into these expert previews, as we offer you promising picks to boost your AFCON 2023 betting time.
Buckle up; it’s time for a ride filled with goals, excitement, and potential wins!
Ivory Coast vs Guinea Bissau
Ivory Coast takes on the role of hosts in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, aiming for a strong start as they face Guinea-Bissau. Having claimed victory in the tournament in 2015, the home team has not gone beyond the quarter-finals in three attempts since then.
With that, the Elephants have been in strong form recently and fueled by passionate support, so they should be able to secure a win in the opening clash.
Remarkably, Ivory Coast has been part of high-scoring matches lately, with their previous 5 games yielding a total of 21 goals.
Guinea-Bissau fields a relatively inexperienced squad, with 13 out of their 24 players having little to no significant experience at this level.
Their recent 6-2 defeat against Mali vividly illustrates the challenges they face. Therefore, it’s hard to find compelling arguments in favour of Djurtus in the upcoming match.
Despite this, Guinea-Bissau beat Nigeria during the qualification stage for the competition, leaving some space for a surprise. They’ve also managed to score in five of their last six matches, indicating the potential for another high-scoring contest.
☑️ Ivory Coast Handicap (-1.5) – 1.78 odds
☑️ Ivory Coast Over 2 – 1.90 odds
☑️ Total Over 2.5 – 2.02 odds
Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea
Nigeria, led by Victor Osimhen, undeniably one of the best strikers globally in the last two years, will pose the primary competition for Ivory Coast in Group A.
With players like Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze, and Ademola Lookman, Nigeria are also one of the main contenders for the tournament title.
Despite the Super Eagles winning only 2 out of their last 5 matches across all competitions, they have a good chance to kick off the tournament with a victory against Equatorial Guinea, having emerged victorious in all three previous head-to-head encounters.
Equatorial Guinea have also encountered challenges in their recent friendly matches, facing three losses in the last six outings, accompanied by a single win and two draws.
Furthermore, the Syli National’s most recent encounter with Nigeria took place in June 2019, during the AFCON group stage where Nigeria secured a narrow victory with a lone goal.
Without a doubt, Kaba Diawara’s men will have difficulties when coming face-to-face with the favourites of Group A in the opening encounter.
☑️ Nigeria Handicap (-1) – 1.76 odds
☑️ Nigeria Over 2 – 2.44 odds
☑️ Osimhen To Score At Any Time – 2.25 odds
Senegal vs Gambia
The current AFCON champion, Senegal, led by Sadio Mane in this championship, will strive to defend their title.
The former Liverpool leader, as well as Idrissa Gueye, Cheikhou Kouyate, and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, are all over 30, making it challenging to replicate the success of the previous tournament.
Nevertheless, the Lions of Teranga have won three out of their last four games across all competitions, aiming to capitalize on this momentum and secure a win in the opening match.
Senegal has a strong chance to kick off the campaign with a victory, facing Gambia as their opponents. They have faced setbacks, losing three times in their last six matches and conceding 9 goals during that run.
Considering Senegal’s strong defensive capabilities and the average low-scoring trend in AFCON, it might be worth considering a bet on the total under 2.5.
☑️ Senegal To Win And Total Under 4.5 – 1.55 odds
☑️ Sadio Mane To Score At Any Time – 2.40 odds
☑️ Total Under 2.5 – 1.64 odds
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