We have offered some AFCON name the finalists betting tips ahead of the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) kicking off on Wednesday evening. Nigeria v South Africa is the first semi-final, followed by Ivory Coast v DR Congo – the final is set to be played on Sunday.
AFCON name the finalists betting tips
Nigeria v Ivory Coast – 93/110
According to betting markets, this is the most likely final based on current odds. This is not a surprise given Nigeria and Ivory Coast's previous pedigree in AFCON tournaments, and their world rankings compared to South Africa and DR Congo.
Indeed, the Super Eagles and the tournament hosts have won five AFCONs between them, and are also the two highest-ranked nations left according to FIFA World Rankings. Incidentally, they were both in the same group too, with Nigeria running out 1-0 winners earlier in the tournament.
The two teams have met in an AFCON semi-final before in 1994 and 2006, with each side winning once, but have never played each other in an AFCON final. Thus, they could make history in this sense, and both are favoured to emerge victorious in their respective semi-finals.
In terms of difference-makers, Victor Osimhen would be looking to get on the scoresheet again for Nigeria having not scored since their opening group game, and Ivory Coast's Evan Ndicka could be tasked with stopping him, as he knows him from playing against Napoli with Roma in Serie A.
Nigeria v DR Congo – 9/5
Nigeria v DR Congo is the second-most likely final outcome based on odds. The Super Eagles are odds-on favourites to beat South Africa in their semi-final, while DR Congo could fancy themselves against Ivory Coast, who scraped through the group stage and have relied on late winners in their knockout matches.
Nigeria have won AFCON three times, and DR Congo twice – although the latter played as Congo-Kinshasa and Zaire in those victories, and have only officially played as DR Congo at AFCON since 1998. Incidentally, they are also the lowest-ranked team left in the tournament, with Nigeria the highest.
If both should advance to the final, it would not only represent the first time the teams would meet each other at AFCON, but in any competitive fixture. They have faced off in six friendlies, with DR Congo (represented as Congo-Kinshasa for three of them) winning three, Nigeria two and there being one draw.
One potential player battle to watch could see Nigeria's Calvin Bassey face DR Congo's Yoane Wissa, who both play in the Premier League for west London-based sides Fulham and Brentford respectively.
South Africa v Ivory Coast – 145/44
As per betting markets, South Africa v Ivory Coast is the third-most likely outcome for the final. The former are seen as outsiders to overcome Nigeria in the semi-final, while the tournament hosts are seen as the most likely to advance ahead of DR Congo in the other.
Ivory Coast have won AFCON twice, while South Africa have only won it once. They are the second and third-highest ranked nations left in the tournament respectively.
The two sides have met at AFCON four times, but never in the knockout stages. Thus, it would represent a new piece of history should they meet in this year's final.
South Africa are not blessed with star names, but as a team could be a difficult nut to crack, having taken Cape Verde to penalties after a 0-0 draw in the quarter-finals. Ivory Coast would rely on experienced forwards like Nicolas Pepe and Sebastien Haller to make the difference in the final third.
South Africa v DR Congo – 17/4
This is the least likely final combination according to betting markets, which is ultimately not a surprise. Both are seen as outsiders to overcome traditional African powerhouses Nigeria and Ivory Coast respectively, but there have been plenty of tournament shocks already.
South Africa and DR Congo have three AFCON titles between them, with the former triumphing as hosts in 1996, and the latter as Congo-Kinshasa and Zaire in 1968 and 1974 respectively.
The teams have met twice at AFCON, including a semi-final in 1998 where South Africa won 2-1. However, they have never met in a final in any competition, and so it would represent a first if they do on Sunday.
Both teams would look at their own key players to help them lift the trophy, with DR Congo's Chancel Mbemba and Arthur Masuaku not only hoping to keep their team solid at the back, but popping up with goals too like their 3-1 quarter-final win against Guinea.