African Cup of Nations: Burkina to beat Zambia to the punch

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Group C of the African Cup of Nations draws to a close with a lot remaining to play for. Burkina Faso know that a point against Zambia will see them through, while Nigeria must beat Ethiopia to be assured a quarter final berth. Ahead of this we’ve skimmed over both games and allowed the best bets to rise to the top.

Burkina Faso v Zambia

Marksman Alain Traore is one of the key reasons the minnows of Burkina Faso are in pole position to qualify from Group C. He’s notched three times in two games and can put the underwhelming Zambians to the sword here.

Realistically, the holders have got to win the game to have a chance of progression, but seeing as though they’ve failed to do this in any of their last six – without managing a single goal in four of these – it’s very difficult to argue a case for them claiming the spoils in Nelspruit.

The Stallions, on the other hand, are flying. They’ve recovered from one win in 13 attempts last term to lose just one game this season and their keeper has only been beaten once in over 450 minutes of football.

These factors, coupled with a striker so hot he’s dangerously close to self-combustion, makes their 2/1 to win the game quite the attractive prospect. Traore is 5/1 to open the scoring here, or 11/8 to bag any time, but a better value bet than both of these is the 23/20 that says Burkina will be the first team on the scoresheet.

They bagged four against Ethiopia last time out which acts as an indicator as to how high confidence is in the camp at the moment, while Zambia, who can’t win for love nor money, have only registered the opener twice in their previous 10 outings.

Ethiopia v Nigeria

After being well and truly pummelled by the 10 men of Burkina Faso, things don’t look good for the Ethiopians. They must beat Nigeria and then hope things go their way if they are to qualify.

An underdog win is available to back as tall as 8/1, while the Super Eagles’ 2/7 offering makes no bones about who the bookies think is going to win the game. However, having a dabble on the draw here at 10/3 could well prove a smooth move in this game.

Nigeria may be difficult to beat of late – only two sides have accomplished this feat in 12 matches – they haven’t won in three, sharing the spoils on each occasion. Ethiopia can take encouragement from this who, despite being smashed by Burkina last time, earned very respectable draws with Zambia and Tunisia in two of the three games that preceded it.

With Stephen Keshi’s men lacking the merciless streak required to kill off football matches, Ethiopia are capable of picking up the futile point that could see the Super Eagles sucked down the plug hole with them.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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