Africa Cup of Nations 3rd Place Playoff – Burkina Faso v Ghana Preview (4/2/17)

Burkina Faso preview

The Stallions suffered a heartbreaking semi final exit on penalties against Egypt. They put in a great performance over the course of the 120 mins and deserved to prevail. However, some poor finishing and a bunch of bad luck was to blame. Burkina Faso have to be praised for most of their performances in this competition. They’ve played with freedom and clearly enjoyed themselves. I think they were a real pleasant surprise and everyone should be proud of their efforts. Of course it’ll take a good effort to recover after that heartbreaking defeat, but they are a prideful nation and a third placed finish would be a very respectable outcome for them.

Ghana preview

I have called Ghana out for being a fraudulent side for most of the competition. They somehow managed to graft their way to the semi finals but finally they were called out in the semi final against Cameroon. The Black Stars simply conceded too many chances and ultimately paid the price. They looked quite leggy for most of the contest, probably a culmination of a long tough grind on some difficult pitches. I also don’t think Ghana are that good anyway. Of course, there’s some decent talent like the Ayew brothers, Wakaso and Atsu, but this certainly isn't a star studded side. This match is likely to be Avram Grant’s last in charge. But he's never been a popular choice anyway and few will shed tears on his exit.

Conclusion & betting analysis

I think there’s an awful lot to like about Burkina Faso here. For a start, they’ve had an extra 24 hours to prepare for the game, which at this stage of the competition is a massive factor. Secondly, they've been the better team in this competition anyway, clearly playing well in most matches. Ghana have rarely looked very good, only performing well in patches. I don’t think this game will mean as much to them and the mega low after being knocked out on Thursday night is sure to linger with them. I’m surprised Burkina Faso are +0.25 underdogs. This looks the wrong way around to me. I actually considered backing them DNB because this match goes straight to penalties after 90 mins. Nobody will want that to happen so we could see a frantic finale. But by that stage I think the Stallions will be leading anyway and ultimately get the job done.

Prediction: Burkina Faso 2-0 Ghana

Recommended bet 1 unit: Burkina Faso +0.25 @ 1.88 (minimum odds acceptable 1.65)