The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 continues Sunday with two games featuring some surprise entrants to the knockout stage. The first game of the features the surprise Group B winners, Madagascar, taking on the Democratic Republic of the Congo who advanced to the knockout stage by being one of the top third place teams. The second Round of 16 game features Group C winner Algeria taking on Guinea who got in as the top third place team.
Below are my two best bets for the Round of 16 Africa Cup of Nations games.
Democratic Republic of Congo (+125) vs Madagascar (+240): Draw (+210)
The Democratic Republic of Congo needed a win in their final group stage match to advance to the knockout stage and that is exactly what they did. The D.R. Congo scored in the 4th minute and never looked back in their 4-0 dismantling of Zimbabwe. Prior to the Zimbabwe game the D.R. Congo fell 2-0 to both Uganda and Egypt. The two time champions of this tournament are entering their 12th knockout stage.
The surprise of the group stage, Madagascar, went undefeated in the group stage and enter the knockout stages for the first time in what is their first ever AFCON appearance. Madagascar started their 2019 AFCON with a 2-2 draw to Guinea then beat Burundi 1-0 before ending the group stage with a shock 2-0 win over Nigeria. Madagascar will be without star Marco Ilaimaharitra who has to miss the Round of 16 game due to picking up two yellow cards during the group stage.
I like the Democratic Republic of the Congo to get the win and to advance to the quarters.
These two nations have met five times in the past and it the Democratic Republic of the Congo who holds a 4-1-1 advantage. The two lest met during the AFCON qualifying rounds, in 2016, when D.R. Congo came away with a 6-1 win.
Algeria (-139) vs Guinea (+500): Draw (+220)
Algeria were a perfect three for three during the group stage and did not concede a goal during any of the group games. The Algerians started play with a 2-0 win over Kenya, then beat Senegal 1-0 before rounding out the group stage with a 3-0 win. Algeria, the 1990 AFCON champions, are making their 11th appearance in the knockout rounds.
Guinea needed a result in their final group stage game to make it through to the knockout stages and that is exactly what they did. Guinea scored one goal in each half and that was all they needed in a 2-0 win over 10 man Burundi. Prior to the Burundi win, Guinea had drew 2-2 to Madagascar and lost 1-0 to Nigeria. Sunday will be the 6th appearance in the knockout stages for Guinea.
I like the Algerians to get through to the quarterfinals.
The two nations have met seven times in the past the series is tied 3-1-3. Algeria won the most recent meeting, a 2017 friendly, 2-1.
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