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Friday, 16 November, 2018

Struggling duo unlikely to finish with a bang

Mohamed Salah is widely-regarded as the ‘Egyptian Messi’
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Uganda v Mali
Eurosport 2, 7pm Wednesday
Simply finding the net is the ambition of Uganda and Mali, two sides who have been wretched over the first couple of rounds.

Not helped by a shocking pitch in Port-Gentil, the Cranes and the Eagles have been well grounded. Uganda are homeward bound come what may, while Mali need to win and hope Egypt lose.

Maybe playing at Stade d’Oyem will show these nations in a better light though you wouldn’t bet on it.

What is for sure is that Mali have done nothing to suggest they warrant an odds-on quote.

Sure, Uganda are limited, but they had their moments after falling behind against Ghana. They didn’t even get started against Egypt but now, with the pressure off, maybe they’ll come to the party.

That said, in a group of few goals and little quality, the draw looks the bet.

Recommendation
Draw
1pt 12-5 Betfair, Betfred, Paddy Power


Egypt v Ghana
Eurosport, 7pm Wednesday
No goalscorer is the 7-2 favourite in the first-goalscorer betting and the draw just an 11-10 chance with the layers confident a tepid stalemate is about to unfold at the Stade de Port-Gentil.

A point is all the Egyptians need to qualify for the quarter-finals while Ghana have already booked their place in the last eight courtesy of two 1-0 wins.

Ghana coach Avram Grant has said the game isn’t important to the Black Stars and he will ring the changes. He’s been scathing about the state of the playing surface at the Stade de Port-Gentil and will rest players.

Incidentally, if Grant wants to avoid a quarter-final outing in Port Gentil, losing against Egypt and thereby finishing second in Group D would do the job, so this game looks best avoided from a betting perspective.

The Pharaohs beat Ghana 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier last year, and they haven’t conceded a goal in four consecutive matches.

Ghana will be at their weakest with players rested but Egypt have looked unimpressive going forward and if you gave Hector Cuper a 0-0 scoreline, he’d probably bite your hand off.

A point is all the Egyptians need to qualify for the quarter-finals while Ghana have already booked their place in the last eight courtesy of two 1-0 wins
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