Africa Cup of Nations – Togo v DR Congo Preview (24/1/17)

Togo preview

Emmanuel Adebayor’s men held out for a comfortable 0-0 against Ivory Coast, but struggled desperately facing Morocco last time out. They lost 1-3 but could've gone down by an even bigger margin. The defence was all at sea, conceding a lot of chances and looked really gassed come the end of that encounter. The Sparrow Hawks somehow have to pick themselves up ahead of a must win clash against DRC. A victory is the minimum requirement to have a chance of qualifying, but they might need to win by more than a one goal margin in order to make the quarter finals.

DR Congo preview

The Leopards have done extremely well to obtain four points from their supposed toughest two fixtures. Now the hard work is done, they must finish the job by at least drawing with Togo. A point would be enough to see them qualify for the quarter finals, although there is a scenario where a one goal loss could potentially be enough as well. DRC have proved to be a well balanced unit, capable of both defending and attacking in good spells. This is a side that doesn’t seem to rely on one standout star, which can often be a good thing. Junior Kabananga has surprisingly led the way for them in the goalscoring department, netting in both fixtures.

Conclusion & betting analysis

The first thing to say about this match is that it’s being hosted at Port-Gentil, not the venue where either of these teams played their previous group matches. The pitch here is shockingly poor and has contained few goals. It’s hard to play proper football on the surface so I expect a lot of long balls and direct style played. A lot of crosses could be sent into the area which spells bad news for Togo keeper Kossi Agassa, who was awful in the previous round. He has had his home vandalised back in Togo and is reportedly shaken. I worry about the whole mentality of the Togo team really and physically they could struggle too. DRC are definitely the most likely winners but I'm reluctant to back them due to the requirement of only needing a draw. Logically, you’d think this match open up too but I’m not willing to risk the overs on this shocking surface. So overall, this’ll be a no bet match for me.

Prediction: Togo 1-2 DR Congo

Recommended bet: None