Group B Fixtures and Predictions

By
Updated: January 15, 2013
African Cup

Match 1: Ghana vs. Democratic Republic of Congo

 

Date: January 20, 2013
Time: 23:00 (GMT +08:00)
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

 

Ghana’s first challenge in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations will be against the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Black Stars have won four times and lost once in their last five games, while the Leopards have three wins and two losses.

 

Ghana

 

  • Highest FIFA Ranking in 2012 – 22
  • Total Africa Cup of Nations Appearances – 18
  • Best Africa Cup of Nations Results – 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982 (Champions)

 

Ghana are among the more experienced sides in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations. They have won the competition’s title for four times and placed second in 1968, 1970, 1992, and 2008. The Black Stars are notable for being quarterfinalists in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Chelsea and Real Madrid star Michael Essien will make his return to the national team after prioritizing his club form. Striker Asamoah Gyan, the side’s top goal scorer during the last World Cup, is another name to reckon.

 

Democratic Republic of Congo

 

  • Highest FIFA Ranking in 2012 – 103
  • Total Africa Cup of Nations Appearances – 15
  • Best Africa Cup of Nations Results – 1968 and 1974 (Champions)

 

The Democratic Republic of Congo experienced a severe dip in form prior to their qualification to this year’s competition, having missed out on the 2008, 2010 and 2012 qualifiers after figuring in the 2006 quarterfinals.

TP Mazembe striker Mabi Mputu stands as among the Leopard’s most potent goal-scoring threat, having scored 13 goals in 22 caps since 2004. Anderlecht striker Dieumerci Mbokani is another proven goal scorer with experience in VfL Wolfsburg, AS Monaco and Standard Liege.

 

Football Betting – Asian Bookie Odds: Ghana as Favourites, 1.0-Handicap for Democratic Republic of Congo

 

12BET.com, a leading name in football betting across the globe, rates Ghana as match favourites at 1.800. Punters for the Black Stars must hope for a two-goal win in order to counter the Democratic Republic of Congo’s handicap of 1.0 (2-0 to 2-1 for Ghana).
Match 2: Mali vs. Niger

 

Date: January 21, 2013
Time: 02:00 (GMT +08:00)
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Mali’s race to win their first Africa Cup of Nations title this year will start against Niger. The Eagles have won four times and lost once in their last five fixtures while the Menas have won twice, drawn twice and lost once.

 

Mali

 

  • Highest FIFA Ranking in 2012 – 25
  • Total Africa Cup of Nations Appearances – 7
  • Best Africa Cup of Nations Result – 1972 (Runners-Up)

 

Mali are among the highly rated national sides in Africa, being the third highest-ranked nation in the continent after Algeria and Ivory Coast. They finished third in last year’s Africa Cup of Nations – a precedent that could motivate them to win this year’s title.

Captain and midfielder Seydou Keita, of Barcelona fame and currently playing for Chinese Super League side Dalian Aerbin, is the Eagles’ most experienced player. Fulham midfielder Mahamadou Diarra is another experienced character to watch out.

 

Niger

 

  • Highest FIFA Ranking in 2012 – 98
  • Total Africa Cup of Nations Appearances – 1
  • Best Africa Cup of Nations Result – 2012 (Group Stage)

 

Niger secured qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 2012, although they failed to advance in the later stages of the competition. They lost in all away group stage matches against South Africa (2-0), Sierra Leone (1-0) and Egypt (3-0) without scoring goals.

Overreliance on home game wins proved pivotal to their qualification for this year’s competition – a factor that they need to change in order to advance further. Striker Ouwo Moussa Maazou is the Menas’ main hitman, having played for clubs like CSKA Moscow, Bordeaux and AS Monaco.

 

Football Betting – Asian Bookie Odds: Mali as Favourites, 1.0-Handicap to Niger

 

12BET.com – one of the leading football betting sportsbooks, have Mali as favourites for this match at 2.050. Bettors supporting the Eagles must hope for their side to win with a two-goal advantage in order to win over Niger’s handicap of 1.0 (2-0 to 2-1 for Mali).