Ghana v Tunisia Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 08/07/19
James Cormack (@jamescormack_) previews Ghana v Tunisia and provides us with his best bets for Monday’s round of 16 clash in the 2019 AFCON by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: +1.395pts
Ghana v Tunisia Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 08/07/19
- Time: 20:00
- Venue: Ismailia Stadium, Ismailia
- Channel: Eurosport
The round of 16 concludes on Monday night with four-time winners Ghana taking on Tunisia, who came into the tournament as one of the favourites but have struggled in Egypt thus far.
The Eagles of Carthage came into this competition as the second-highest ranked African side in FIFA’s world rankings but could only muster three disappointing draws against inferior opposition in the group stages.
Performances at last year’s World Cup where they ran England close and beat Panama 2-1 would’ve convinced many that Alain Giresse’s side could add to their sole AFCON title in Egypt this summer, but, if they continue their group stage form, I’d expect them to be on their way home after Monday’s game against a strong Ghanaian outfit.
The four-time winners topped a tricky group that contained Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau. Although this Ghana side may not be as strong as Ghanaian sides of the past decade, they certainly have enough talent and firepower to go deep into this tournament.
Jordan Ayew, who struggled to find any form for Crystal Palace last season, has looked in fine touch, netting against Benin and Guinea-Bissau in the opening phase of the competition. We’ve already seen Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah change his system a couple of times and it’ll be interesting to see how he will set up for this one. He has the option to play the Ayew brother’s as a front two in a 4-4-2, which he did against Guinea-Bissau, or use his preferred 4-2-3-1 and play Andre Ayew as the no.10, a role the Fenerbache man suits more.
One man who has impressed me for Ghana is Atletico’s Thomas Partey. The 26-year-old has burst onto the scene over the past couple of seasons and has become a lynchpin in Diego Simeone’s side. Thomas is an all-round midfielder with his physical presence allowing him to play as an effective #6, whilst his rather surprising technical ability and his capabilities from long-range mean he’s also productive as a box-to-box midfielder. There’s no doubt that Thomas, whose transfer value has risen to £45m (according to transfermarkt.com), will play a key part for the Black Stars in the knockout stages and he’ll likely have the task of nullifying Tunisia’s star man, Wahbi Khazri (if fit), on Monday night in Ismailia.
A theme of the round of 16 so far has been upsets and some big ones. On Friday we saw 88th ranked Benin knock out Hakim Ziyech and Morocco on penalties (after Ziyech missed from the spot himself to win it in the dying embers of the 90 mins), then on Saturday we saw hosts Egypt crash out to South Africa before Madagascar, who were ranked 108th coming into the tournament, beat DR Congo on penalties a day later. Although Tunisia are probably not as big of an underdog compared to those before them, a victory for them against an organised, strong and talented Ghana side in Ismalia will certainly be a shock, especially after their group stage performances.
Ghana have suffered a blow with the news that winger Christian Atsu is out for the rest of the tournament, however, there is some better news on the injury front with Thomas Agyepong potentially available for this contest after sitting out the game with Guinea-Bissau.
Tunisia’s star man, Wahbi Khazri, faces a late fitness test for this one. It’s understood that the St. Etienne man suffered a muscular injury in his side’s 0-0 draw with Mauritania on matchday three.
Potential Ghana Starting XI: Ofori, Yiadom, Jonathan, Kasim, Rahman, Thomas, Mubarak, Asamoah, A.Ayew, Agyepong, J.Ayew.
Potential Tunisia Starting XI: Hassen, Kechrida, Bronn, Meriah, Haddadi, Skhiri, Chalali, Msakni, Khazri, Sliti, Khenissi.
Head To Head
- All-time: Ghana-10, Draw-3, Tunisia-4.
- Ghana have never lost to Tunisia in the AFCON.
Key Stats & Facts
- Prior to the tournament, Tunisia were ranked as the 25th best side in the world, 25 places higher than Monday’s opponents.
- Ghana topped Group F with just 5 points whilst Tunisia scraped through a rather sub-par Group E, finishing second with 3 points.
- Despite winning this competition four times, Ghana haven’t been victorious since 1982 where they beat Libya on penalties in the final.
- The Black Stars have finished runners up on two occasions this decade; losing 1-0 to Egypt in 2010 and to Ivory Coast on penalties in 2015.
- In fact, Ghana have reached the semi-finals in each of the last six tournaments.
- Tunisia’s 3 point tally was the lowest total out of all the second-place finishers in the group stages.
- Tunisia’s sole victory in this competition came in 2004 when they were hosts. Since then, the Eagles of Carthage have failed to reach the semi-finals.
- Jordan Ayew (Ghana) and Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia) are their respective side’s leading goal scorer, both with two up to this point.
- Ghana 6/4
- Draw 15/8
- Tunisia 28/11
Tunisia have been really poor so far in this competition and will really have to up their game against a good side. But, I don’t see this happening and I’m going to back a safer bet of Ghana to qualify at 5/6, which I still think is good value. Despite lacking a cutting edge going forward, Tunisia have been hard to break down, conceding just once in the group stage and I think we could see Ghana having to really grind it out on Monday night. This Ghana side is good, not great and probably lacks a little bit of firepower in attack. I don’t see them blowing away a stout Tunisian defence and we saw them struggle against a better defence in the form of Cameroon on matchday two, being forced to settle for a 0-0 draw. We’ve already seen a couple of games go to extra-time as well as a couple of big upsets, I think Ghana will get the job done in the end, but, I’m not convinced they’ll only need 90 minutes in order to do so.
I think Alain Giresse will want to have his team in a position where they’re in the game with 15-20 minutes to go and he may look at taking a rather conservative approach against a dangerous Ghana side. With this in mind, I’m going to back the score at half-time being 0-0. In their final two group games, Ghana were held to a 0-0 by Cameroon and beat Guinea-Bissau with two second-half goals whilst Tunisia scored just once in the first half in the group stages. I think a 0-0 half-time scoreline is pretty good value at 11/10.