Tom Love (@TomLove_18) previews Algeria v Senegal and provides us with his best bets for Friday's AFCON final by analysing team news, potential line ups, head to head, key stats, facts and more.

  • Profit & Loss: -8pts

Algeria v Senegal Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 19/07/19
  • Time: 20:00pm
  • Venue: Cairo International Stadium
  • Channel: Eurosport

The final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is finally among us and it's probably the two strongest squads that have met to face off in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

Many premier league fans will see this as Sadio Mane vs Riyad Mahrez but there's plenty of influential players on either side who could make the difference on Friday night. Algeria have the likes of current free agent Yacine Brahimi, new AC Milan signing Ismael Bennacer and Galatasary midfielder Sofian Feghouli. Senegal have the enigmatic Rennes winger Ismaila Sarr, the tough tackling Idrissa Gueye and M'Baye Niang in their ranks.

Algeria have probably been the most accomplished side in this tournament with 5 wins and one draw, scoring 12 and conceding just 2. Djamel Belmadi tends to set his side up in a 4–1-2-2-1 formation and its provide a nice balance between attack and defence. They'll need that balance here too, you wouldn't expect them to come out all attack given the magnitude of the game. It's of benefit to the North Africans that there's no fresh injury concerns going into the tie.

Senegal gaffer Aliou Cisse was the captain of the 2002 Lions squad that was defeated in the final by Cameroon. He's hoping that his current day troops can go one better and bring the trophy back to Dakar. They've kept 5 clean sheets out of 6 and that combined with Algeria's decent defensive record and it's no surprise to see over 2.5 goals trading as big as 15/8.

Cisse tends to favour a 4-2-3-1 approach but he may mirror Algeria's 4-1-2-2-1 and play Gueye, Badou N'Diaye and Henri Saivet to bulk out the middle of the park. There is a big blow in defence for them though with Napoli centre half and arguably one of the best in the world in that position, Kalidou Kouliably, is suspended for the final. Schalke 04 giant Salif Sane is likely to be his replacement.

Team News

As mentioned, Kalidou Koulibaly is suspended for Senegal whereas Edouard Mendy is ruled out.

Nice attacker Youcef Atal is out for Algeria still.

Potential Algeria Starting XI: M'bolhi, Zeffane, Mandï, Benlamri, Bensebaini, Guedioura, Bennacer, Feghouli, Mahrez, Belali, Bounedjah.

Potential Senegal Starting XI: Gomis, Gassama, Sane, Kouyate, Sabaly, N'Diaye, Gueye, Saivet, Mane, Sarr, Niang.

Betting Odds

  • Algeria – 19/10
  • Draw – 19/10
  • Senegal – 7/4

The Verdict

The bookies have priced up every outcome at a very similar price here and it's easy to see why. My initial thought was to get with the draw given the fact it's a final and there's nothing to separate the sides but anything below 2/1 on a stalemate rarely appeals so I'll look elsewhere.

Most will be looking to swerve a goal heavy game but the bookies are all over that too, there's no value in opposing a high scoring game. That takes me to the card market and I'll take the even-money offering on SkyBet's request a bet for both teams to have 1+ corner in each half and to pick up 10+ booking points each. It looks a fairly straightforward bet in a game that promises to be very well matched.

I'll also through half a point on two long shots. Firstly SkyBet have priced up Mane and Maher's both to have 2+ shots on target at double their original price therefore we're getting an attractive 11/1 quote and that will provide some added interest. Both like to get shots off and hopes will largely be pinned on them to show up on the biggest of stages.

Bet365's BetBuilder feature can be used to back two aggressive midfielders to pick up a card and that is Idrissa Gueye and Adlene Guediora who double up as a 16/1 shot to both pick up a caution. They both like a tackle and are in one of the most booked positions on the field in defensive midfield. With stakes so high it could be a scrappy game played in midfield and expect these two to be at the heart of it.

Recommended Bets

  • 2pts – Each team 1+ corner in each half and 10+ booking points each team @ 1/1 (SkyBet)
  • 0.5pts – Mane and Mahrez to have 2+ shots on target @ 11/1 (SkyBet)
  • 0.5pts – Idrissa Gueye And Adlene Guediora to be carded @ 16/1 (Bet365)