Senegal v Algeria Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 27/06/19
James Cormack (@jamescormack__) previews Senegal v Algeria and provides us with his best bets for this group C clash at the African Cup of Nations by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: +7.395pts
Senegal v Algeria Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 27/06/19
- Time: 18:00
- Venue: 30 June Stadium, Cairo.
- Channel: Eurosport 2
The pre-tournament favourites, Senegal, will be looking to secure a spot in the next phase of this year’s African Cup of Nations as they take on Riyad Mahrez and Algeria, in what looks like one of the better games of the group stages on paper.
Both these sides breezed to 2-0 victories in their opening fixtures in group C, despite Senegal missing star man Sadio Mane due to suspension.
It’s understandable why many bookmakers made Senegal the favourites to win this competition outright when you look at some of the talent that Aliou Cisse has at his disposal. Kalidou Koulibaly is seen as one of the best centre-back’s in Europe at the moment and his services are desired by some of Europe’s top clubs this summer. His physical attributes, ability on the ball and defensive nous make him, near-enough, the complete defender and he’ll be crucial for Senegal in the later rounds.
Senegal are also blessed with some fine Premier League talent. Everton’s Idrissa Gueye has been a consistent performer in central-midfield for the Toffee’s ever since he arrived on Merseyside in 2016. His tenacity and work-rate have been likened to N’Golo Kante whilst he’s more than capable with the ball at his feet. For the national team, Gueye plays in a more advanced role, playing as one of the two CM’s in a 4-1-4-1, instead of being one of the two defensive midfielders in Marco Silva’s 4-2-3-1 at Everton. A strong AFCON in this role will demonstrate Gueye’s versatility in midfield and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a stronger pursuit of his services by PSG this summer.
Sadio Mane also plays a slightly different role for Senegal, playing as the lone striker. His output for Liverpool last season was very impressive, scoring 27 goals from a left-wing position. His pace and eye for goal mean he should work as a no.9, whilst his support cast; Ismaila Sarr (8 assists in Ligue 1 last season), Krepin Diatta and Keita Balde Diao, should certainly provide enough opportunities for Mane throughout the tournament.
I think Algeria are one of the dark-horses to do pretty well in Egypt this summer. SkyBet made them 7th favourites at 12/1 and this is a price that should’ve been taken on by many punters. Other than Riyad Mahrez, who we know can be special on his day, Algeria have got some very good players. Right-back Youcef Atal was superb for Nice in Ligue 1 last season and has been tipped for a big summer move whilst Real Betis’ Aissa Mandi is a fine centre-back. Going forward they have a number of ‘X-factors’, 21-year-old Ismael Bennacer is an exciting prospect whilst Yacine Brahimi, Sofiane Feghouli and Baghdad Bounedjah are seasoned performers and their experience may be important for Algeria in this competition.
However, it’s likely that the performances of Man City’s Mahrez will determine how well Algeria do in Egypt. A lack of game-time last season limited the winger to 11 G+A’s (still pretty impressive), but, we all know how devastating his left foot can be and he got off to a good start in Algeria’s first game, netting their second against Tanzania.
Senegal’s performance at last year’s World Cup highlighted their ability to perform in a major tournament. Despite not making it past the group stage, the Terranga Lions were in a tight group that also had Poland, Japan and Colombia. A 1-0 defeat to Colombia in their final group game meant they slipped to third, finishing level on points with Japan with four. In fact, it was the fair play rule that kept the Senegalese from qualifying with Senegal registering 2 more yellow cards than Japan. Successful performance in a major tournament should stand Senegal in good stead for the remainder of this competition.
Schalke’s Salif Sane is out due to an ankle injury he picked up against Tanzania, meaning Cheikou Kouyate could get a start at centre back for the Terranga Lions. However, Sadio Mane will likely return to Senegal’s starting XI after serving a one-game suspension.
There are no injury worries for Algeria and I would expect Djamel Belmadi to pick near enough the same starting XI that beat Kenya 2-0 on matchday one.
Potential Senegal Starting XI: Mendy, Wague, Koulibaly, Kouyate, Sabaly, Ndiaye, Sarr, Diatta, Gueye, Keita Balde, Mane
Potential Algeria Starting XI: M’Bolhi, Atal, Mandi, Benlamri, Bensebaini, Guediora, Mahrez, Feghouli, Bennacer, Brahimi, Bounedjah
Head To Head
- All-time: Senegal-4, Draw-5, Lost-12.
- Senegal haven’t beaten Algeria in their last four meetings (D1, L3). Their last victory over the Desert Warriors was back in 2008.
Key Stats & Facts
- Senegal are the highest-ranked African nation in FIFA’s world rankings, sitting in 22nd. Algeria are ranked the 12th best African side and are 68th overall.
- On matchday one, Senegal breezed past Tanzania, winning 2-0, whilst Algeria beat Kenya by the same scoreline.
- Senegal have never won the AFCON, their best finish was runners-up back in 2002.
- Algeria have won the AFCON, back in 1990, but have only reached the semi-finals once since then (2010).
- Senegal were pre-tournament favourites with many bookmakers, having won 6 on the bounce coming into the tournament.
- Algeria also came into the tournament in good form, losing just once in 9 games before travelling to Egypt.
- Senegal 23/20
- Draw 36/17
- Algeria 3/1
This game looks tight, but, the addition of Sadio Mane to this already strong Senegal side gives me the impression that they should have enough to overcome a good Algeria side. Despite both sides coming into the tournament in good form and winning their first game 2-0, I fancy Senegal in this one as I think they’ve proven themselves in the bigger games, against better opponents. This can’t be said for Algeria, they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and haven’t come up against a side like Senegal over the past year. With the likes of Koulibaly, Gueye, Sarr, Mane, Diatta, Niang and Keita in the Senegal squad, I think they’ll have too much for an Algeria team that lacks the same amount of depth.
The other bet I like for this one is Sadio Mane to get on the scoresheet. Mane was banned for the game against Tanzania and I’m sure he’ll be wanting to make up for lost time against Algeria on Thursday. With wingers Keita Balde and Ismaila Sarr impressing on matchday one, I’m expecting Mane to come into Cisse’s starting XI as the lone striker, replacing M’Baye Niang. The Liverpool man is such a threat in front of goal due to his ability to score in a variety of ways; from outside the box, inside the box, inside the 6-yard box, in the air and I’m sure he’ll be a candidate for penalty-taking duties. I think he suits the no.9 position and he’ll certainly be a candidate for the golden boot in the competition, with his tally starting on Thursday.