The second group stage games got underway Wednesday with two favorites getting a win and tight contested draw taking place. Nigeria (+110) opened the day with a 1-0 win over Guinea, then Uganda and Zimbabwe played to a 1-1 draw (+187) and the day ended with a 3-0 Egypt (-303) win over the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After Wednesday’s action Egypt leads Group A with six points, Uganda is in second with four and Zimbabwe sits in third with one. In Group B, Nigeria leads with six points followed by Madagascar and Guinea with one point and Burundi with zero points.
Thursday Group B finished their second group stage games as Madagascar takes on Burundi and then Group C takes center stage as Senegal battles Algeria and Kenya takes on Tanzania.
Below are my picks for Thursday’s Africa Cup of Nations games.
Burundi (+150) vs Madagascar (+210): Draw (+190)
Burundi extended their winless streak to four games after opening up AFCON play with a 1-0 loss to Nigeria. Burundi has now scored one goal or less in four straight games, and lost two in a row, but have been playing good defense having given up more than one goal just one time during this four game skid.
Similarly, Madagascar is in terrible form having now gone winless in six games after an opening 2-2 draw against Guinea. Madagascar have scored two or more goals just three times in their last 10 games and have given up two or more goals six times during that same 10 game stretch.
This one ends in a draw.
This will be the first meeting between these two nations.
Senegal (+110) vs Algeria (+275): Draw (+210)
Senegal made it seven wins a row with a solid 2-0 win over Tanzania to open up their 2019 AFCON campaign. Senegal have outscored opponents 12-1 during this seven game win streak and have scored two or more goals in four of those seven games.
Algeria are now undefeated in seven straight games, and nine of their last 10, after an opening 2-0 win over Kenya. Algeria have outscored opponents 13-5 during this seven game unbeaten run and both teams have scored in four of those seven games.
Senegal prevails with a win.
These two nations have met 21 times in the past and it is Algeria who holds a 12-5-4 record. Algeria is undefeated in the last four meetings between the two.
Kenya (+129) vs Tanzania (+220): Draw (+210)
Kenya opened their 2019 AFCON campaign with a 2-0 loss to Algeria. The Kenyans can get back into knockout stage contention with a win Thursday as four third place teams do advance to the knockout stages. Kenya have been in a lot of low scoring games lately as eight of their last 10 games have finished with two goals or less.
Tanzania continued their alternation win/draw loss routine with a 2-0 loss to Senegal to open up their AFCON campaign. Like Kenya, the Tanzanians can get into knockout round contention with a win on Wednesday. Eight of the last 10 games involving Tanzania have seen just one team score and seven of the last 10 games have finished with two goals or less.
I like Kenya to come away with a win on Thursday.
Kenya has not lost since 2012, a three game span, and won the most recent meeting 1-0 back in 2017.
YTD Soccer Results: 96-87