Ghana to witness lacklustre African Nations Cup start against Botswana

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Having finished third at the African Nations Cup in 2008 and second in the last renewal in 2010, the continuation of this sequence would suggest that Ghana will secure overall victory this time around.

Ghana’s odds are 7/2 to win the African Nations Cup, but there is a strong possibility that they will be held in their opening Group D encounter against the largely unfancied Botswana.

Botswana failed to concede more than a single goal in any game during qualifying when they topped a group featuring the likes of Tunisia and only one player managed more than the five goals scored by striker Jerome Ramatlhakwane.

Ghana themselves only conceded one goal thoughout the whole of qualifying and with star striker Asamoah Gyan still recovering from a hamstring problem, there is a chance he will be given some extra recuperation time with bigger games certain later in the tournament.

It is 2/7 that Ghana beat Botswana, but the draw is worth some interest at 4/1.

Perhaps the best bet is the 8/11 that under 2.5 goals are scored, while the 8/1 offered on both the goalless and 1-1 draws appeal.

Meanwhile, all losing first goalscorer bets on the encounter will be refunded if Sulley Muntari scores at any point in the 90 minutes.

The other Group D showdown could also see a slightly shock result with Guinea picking up a valuable victory over Mali.

Mali not only head into the tournament without the likes of Frederic Kanoute and Mahamadou Diarra, but coach Alain Giresse also has to contend with a host of other absentees.

Captain Seydou Keita is a big doubt with a knee problem, while first-choice striker Cheick Tidiane Diabate is almost certainly out with a hamstring complaint.

Guinea may have enough to take advantage of what will be a youthful Mali and with Ishmael Bangoura in attack, who has previously starred for Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League, 9/5 seems good value that they triumph.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.