Madagascar v Tunisia Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 11/07/19
James Cormack (@jamescormack_) previews Madagascar v Tunisia and provides us with his best bets for the final quarter-final tie in the 2019 AFCON by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: +0.495pts
Madagascar v Tunisia Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 11/07/19
- Time: 20:00
- Venue: Al-Salam Stadium, Cairo
- Channel: Eurosport
The quarter-final stage of this year’s AFCON comes to a close with a fixture that not many people would’ve foreseen coming into the tournament.
Madagascar, who rank as the 108th best side in world football, have defied the 250/1 outright odds and have reached the quarter-final stage in their first-ever AFCON.
Nicolas Dupuis’ side, which is littered with unknown talent, is unbeaten in Egypt this summer and has already pulled off one of the nation’s biggest ever results, beating Nigeria 2-0 on matchday three in the group stages. A draw against Guinea followed by a 1-0 win over Burundi was enough to see them finish top of Group B a point ahead of Nigeria, who have now qualified for the semi-finals.
Madagascar’s unlikely dream was kept alive in the round of 16 after two skied penalties by DR Congo in the penalty shoot-out was enough to see them through after the game had finished two apiece. That victory should not be underrated either, DR Congo are ranked 59 places higher than Madagascar in the world rankings and have the likes of Cedric Bakambu, Yannick Bolasie, Britt Assombalonga, Arthur Masuaku and Chancel Mbemba within its ranks. Considering most of Madagascar’s squad applies their trade in the depths of French football, Sunday’s result was a big upset.
Prior to their round of 16 clash, I don’t think many would’ve seen Tunisia getting past Ghana to set up this fixture with the tournament underdogs. However, the Eagles of Carthage put their dismal group stage performances behind them to put in a fine display on Monday night, progressing on penalties. They should’ve been home and dry after 90 minutes, but, a rather unfortunate Rami Bedoui own goal in the first minute of stoppage time forced an extra 30 minutes. We saw Alain Giresse deploy a tactic used by so many coaches nowadays, replacing starting keeper Mouez Hassen for ‘penalty specialist’ Farouk Ben Mustapha. This idea was probably most famously used by Louis Van Gaal in the 2014 World Cup where he replaced starting keeper Jasper Cilessen for Tim Krul for penalty shoot-outs against Costa Rica and Argentina, winning one and losing one. The gamble paid off for Giresse with Ben Mustapha saving the only missed penalty in the shoot-out.
Tunisia’s overall performance against a strong Ghana side was impressive and they did it without Wahbi Khazri for most of the game. They have looked defensively stout throughout the tournament, something that will be vital for the remainder of the competition and especially on Thursday night with Madagascar scoring 7 goals in 4 games.
Despite Tunisia coming up against a side that seems to have everything going for them, you’d feel that this is a massive chance for the Eagles of Carthage to reach an AFCON semi-final for the first time since 2004 and potentially go all the way. They should’ve gathered great confidence and momentum after their previous victory and I think they’re indeed a dark-horse to go all the way this summer.
Marco Ilaimaharitra should return in midfield after missing the last 16 victory over DR Congo because of suspension, with Rayan Raveloson dropping out.
Wahbi Khazri should start after being left out of the starting line-up against Ghana due to a muscle strain, eventually coming on as a second-half substitute.
Potential Madagascar Starting XI: Adrien, Metanire, Razakanantenaina, Fontaine, Mombris, Ilaimaharitra, Anicet, Amada, Nomenjanahary, Andriatsima, Carolus
Potential Tunisia Starting XI: Hassen, Kechrida, Bronn, Meriah, Haddadi, Chalali, Skhiri, Badri, Khazri, Msakni, Khenissi
Head To Head
- All-time: Madagascar-1, Draw-0, Tunisia-3.
Key Stats & Facts
- Prior to the tournament, Tunisia ranked as the 25th best side in the world whilst Madagascar were ranked 83 places lower in 108th.
- Tunisia have won this tournament just once, as hosts back in 2004.
- Coming into the tournament, Madagascar were a massive 250/1 shot to go all the way in Egypt this summer.
- Incredibly, this is their first-ever AFCON.
- Carolus Andriamahitsinoro is Madagascar’s top scorer so far in the tournament, netting on two occasions.
- Tunisia’s victory over Ghana on penalties in the round of 16 was already the third game in the competition that has gone the distance.
- Madagascar 19/4
- Draw 23/10
- Tunisia 20/21
Madagascar have defied the odds this summer, their journey has been incredible. However, this is where I think it ends. If this was a round of 16 clash, I would’ve given the 108th ranked side more of a chance because Tunisia looked poor in the group stages. However, their victory against Ghana has convinced me that they’ll end Madagascar’s dream on Cairo on Thursday night. I’m backing Tunisia to get the job done in 90 minutes as well. Wahbi Khazri is coming back and they’ve looked very sound defensively in their four games so far, it’s going to take a lot for Madagascar’s heroes to break down this Tunisian backline.
Another bet I like is for the last goal to be within the final 15 minutes of the 90. I think Tunisia will win with no extra-time or penalties required and in the knockout stages, we’ve already seen 7 goals scored between the 76th and 90th minute. Even if the goal is one that sends the game to an extra 30 minutes, no goals have been scored in the three games that have gone that far, so I fancy my chances either way.
The odds for this bet have got shorter and shorter as the tournament’s gone on, the score being 0-0 at half-time. For this game, you can get it at 5/4 which is still pretty good value when you look at the stats. Five of Madagascar’s seven goals have come in the second-half whilst Tunisia have been held at 0-0 at half-time in three of their four games so far, I fancy this one to follow a similar pattern.