Group A Fixtures and Predictions

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Updated: January 15, 2013
African Cup

Match 1: South Africa vs. Cape Verde

 

Date: January 20, 2013
Time: 00:00 (GMT +08:00)
Venue: FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa

Host nation South Africa will face first-time qualifiers Cape Verde in their first match at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Both the Bafana Bafana and the Blue Sharks have two wins, one draw and two losses in each of their last five matches.

 

South Africa

  • Highest FIFA Ranking in 2012 – 56
  • Total Africa Cup of Nations Appearances – 7
  • Best Africa Cup of Nations Result – 1996 (Champions)

South Africa previously won the Africa Cup of Nations title on the only other time it hosted the competition – in 1996. Such provides them a historical weight to this year’s competition, as they compete as hosts once again.

Compared to Clive Barker’s 1996 winners, today’s Bafana Bafana squad, managed by Gordon Igesund, lacks star power. Nevertheless, Igesund’s squad could rely on talents like striker Katlego Mphela, midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala and defender Bongani Khumalo.

 

Cape Verde

  • Highest FIFA Ranking in 2012 – 51
  • Total Africa Cup of Nations Appearances – 0
  • Best Africa Cup of Nations Result – 2013 (Qualification)

Cape Verde may have not much football history to speak of, but their recent feat of qualifying for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations as the highest-ranked team in Group A means that they are currently undergoing significant improvements.

Impressive performances in recent years reflect the Blue Sharks’ currently enhanced form. They fought against Portugal, erstwhile third in the FIFA ranking, in a 0-0 draw in 2010. They won their qualifying match against historically prominent Cameroon on aggregate at 3-2.

 

Football Betting – Asian Bookie Odds: South Africa as Favourites, 1.0-Handicap for Cape Verde

 

12BET.com, one of the leading football betting sportsbook, rates South Africa as favourites at 2.050. Punters for the Bafana Bafana need to hope for their side to win by two goals in order to overcome Cape Verde’s handicap of 1.0 (2-0 to 2-1 for South Africa).

 

Match 2: Angola vs. Morocco

 

Date: January 20, 2013
Time: 03:00 (GMT +08:00)
Venue: FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa

Angola will face Morocco in their first Africa Cup of Nations challenge this year. The Palancas Negras have won thrice and drawn twice in their last five fixtures while the Lions of the Atlas have three wins, one draw and one loss.

 

Angola

  • Highest FIFA Ranking in 2012 – 78
  • Total Africa Cup of Nations Appearances – 6
  • Best Africa Cup of Nations Results – 2008 and 2010 (Quarterfinals)

The current Angola squad may not look highly promising due to the scarcity of international names, but much of their notable successes came as recent as 2008 and 2010 – the years when they qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals.

Real Valladolid striker Manucho is one player the Palancas Negras could rely on, as he has an impressive record of 21 international goals out of 38 caps. He has adequate experience to contribute to the team, having gained his first cap in 2006.

 

Morocco

  • Highest FIFA Ranking in 2012 – 60
  • Total Africa Cup of Nations Appearances – 14
  • Best Africa Cup of Nations Result – 1976 (Champions)

Bolstering Morocco’s ambition to win this year’s Africa Cup of Nations is their title-winning feat in the 2012 Arab Nations Cup. The Lions of the Atlas had notable runs in the competition, as they became champions in 1976, third-placers in 1980 and second-placers in 2004.

Ex-Arsenal and current West Ham United striker Marouane Chamakh is perhaps the most familiar figure in the squad. He is potentially lethal in front of goal, especially if he finds form similar to his six-game goal-scoring run in the 2010 UEFA Champions League.

 

Football Betting – Asian Bookie Odds: Morocco as Favourites, 0.5-Handicap for Angola

 

Morocco are favourites to win at 2.260 at 12BET.com, one of the most popular football betting sportsbooks, Asia and Europe. Bettors rooting for the Lions of the Atlas could win against Angola’s handicap of 0.5 if their side wins by one goal (0-1 to 0.5-1 for Morocco).