Sports Betting Weekly

Dr Congo v Equatorial Guinea

When: Saturday, 07 February 2015 @ 23:00 (FINISHED)
Where: Nuevo Estadio De Malabo
While the final of this year’s Africa Cup of Nations stayed true to the form book in pitting two of the tournament’s outstanding favourites against each other in Bata, it’s fair to say that the third place play-off game has provided a bit of a turn-up for the books as hosts and relative minnows, Equatorial Guinea, take on the second-lowest ranked team in the competition, DR Congo, on Saturday.

Having arrived in the third place play-off courtesy of a comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Ghana in a game that was marred by deplorable scenes of violence from the Equatoguinean fans, the hosts will be desperate to restore some pride to their nation with a bronze medal finish that would actually represent an outstanding achievement for a country with relatively little prior footballing history.

In order to realise that ambition, they’ll need to see their way past a DR Congo side who were unbeaten in the competition all the way up to their semi-final with Ivory Coast, where goals from Yaya Toure, Gervinho and Wilfried Kanon eventually condemned them to a 3-1 defeat. Dogged in defence during the group stage and inspired by the goals of Dieumerci Mbokani in the latter stages, DR Congo go into the clash as slight favourites at 31/20, with the host nation only marginally behind at 19/10.

Although both teams shipped three goals in their respective semi-finals, it should be noted that up until that point Equatorial Guinea had conceded just two goals in four games compared to DR Congo’s four, making it likely this will be another low-scoring affair between two sides that tend to keep it tight at the back – and 7/4 looks a fair price on the game being settled by just one goal.

Having already picked up two clean sheets in the competition against Burkina Faso and Gabon, you can also get an attractive looking 7/2 on Equatorial Guinea to win to nil (DR Congo are available at a slightly shorter 3/1 despite their poorer defensive record), while if you fancy neither team to make an impact, a 0-0 draw – a result that has happened three times in this year’s competition already – is priced at 11/2.

While all this talk of clean sheets and defensive resilience may have painted a fairly dour picture of the play-off game, we should point out that both Equatorial Guinea and DR Congo have players in the running for the tournament’s golden boot. The aforementioned Mbokani and Equatoguinean striker, Javier Balboa, are both currently tied with three other players on three strikes each, and with a solitary goal likely to be enough to win either player the award providing Andre Ayew blanks against Ivory Coast, prices of either 19/10 on Balboa or 57/5 on Mbokani doing the business look more than acceptable here.