Africa Cup of Nations – Zimbabwe v Tunisia Preview (23/1/17)

Zimbabwe preview

The ‘Warriors’ put up a very good fight against Algeria, drawing 2-2 and they were less than 10 minutes away from beating their illustrious opponents in that fixture. However, Zimbo came back down to earth facing Senegal, losing 2-0 and in all truth they could have conceded way more if Senegal had finished chances properly. It was a concerning performance and the amount of times their defence got blown open was ridiculous. Zimbabwe still have a chance of qualifying though if they beat Tunisia and Algeria fail against Senegal. So all they can do is try to get victory. Zimbabwe have played really positively all tournament and I expect that to continue here. They have nothing to lose and will go down fighting.

Tunisia preview

It was a good comeback from the North African side to beat their Algerian rivals 2-1 last time out. Tunisia had shown encouraging signs against Senegal in their opener, despite losing 0-2. They managed to defend much better and actually converted chances in the previous encounter. Now their destiny is in their own hands. A win or a draw would be enough to qualify for the quarter finals and if they can’t do that against Zimbabwe then they deserve to go home early! Despite only needing a draw, I expect Tunisia to take this match by the horns and look to get on top. They can’t be too timid and the only time I’d expect them to try and hold out is in the last ten minutes, should they need to grind out a result.

Conclusion & betting analysis

This is another match I anticipate being wide open. Zimbabwe play in this sort of style and like to go pushing forwards in search of goals. This leaves plenty of holes at the back though and Tunisia have the sort of fast counter attackers who can potentially take advantage. I don’t actually think Zimbabwe will get massively outplayed in between both boxes, but at the crucial ends of each field is where Tunisia will have an advantage. You’d expect the Eagles of Carthage to be more clinical, whilst at the back snuffle out opportunities with the likes of rock solid defender Aymen Abdennour. Overall, I expect enough opportunities to be created for three goals to be scored. This is why I like the idea of backing over 2.25 @ around the 1.90 mark. Tunisia will probably win but because only a draw is required, I’m reluctant to back them at fairly short odds.

Prediction: Zimbabwe 1-2 Tunisia

Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2.25 goals @ 1.91 (minimum odds acceptable 1.70)