Tom Love (@TomLove_18) previews Tunisia v Nigeria and provides us with his best bets for Wednesday's clash by analysing team news, potential line ups, head to head, key stats, facts and more.
- Profit & Loss: -4.5pts
Tunisia v Nigeria Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 17/07/19
- Time: 20:00pm
- Venue: Al Salam Stadium
- Channel: Eurosport
The third place play off is included in the African Cup of Nations and this year it sees two sides that were playing in Russia in the World Cup a year ago in Nigeria and Tunisia face off. Many see the third place play off as a bit of a waste of time but there's always pride at stake when playing for your country.
Tunisia have been competitive in all their games, having kept things compact and tight which has proved hard for opposition to break down. They were less than convincing going forward in the group stages though, drawings all three games against Mali, Angola and Mauritania, scoring just twice. They then scraped past Ghana on penalties and were given a quarter final tie with the enterprising Madagascar of whom they comfortably saw off 3-0. In the semis they took Senegal to extra time before losing 1-0.
There's not an array of notable additional options for Alain Giresse to choose from but with less riding on this game you'd expect them to be a bit more adventurous in their gameplan. Whabi Khazri And Naim Sliti can provide the creative spark and they'll need them to perform to have a good chance of justifying their 2/1 quotes.
Nigeria on the other hand have won four games at the 2019 AFCON, scoring in all but one game. Their only major hiccup came against Madagascar losing 2-0 in the final group stage game. Although they'd defeated Burundi and Guinea with a pair of 1-0 wins prior to that to all but secure their place in the knockout rounds. They then came from 2-1 down to beat Cameroon 3-2 courtesy of a winner from Arsenal's Alex Iwobi. In the Quarters they needed a last minute winner to get past a battling South Africa outfit. The semi-final saw a narrow defeat to a well fancied Algeria with Riyad Mahrez slamming home a late free kick.
The Super Eagles have the stronger squad in my eyes here and more depth in addition to that. Villarreal youngster Samuel Chukwueze has impressed in Egypt and him along with Iwobi flanking Odion Ighalo can cause problems especially with the pace of Ahmed Musa in the attacking four. English based Peter Etebo and Wilfred N'Didi are strong defensive midfield options, their main weakness looks to be at full back.
If they do make changes then there's the likes of Leon Balogun, Moses Simon, Ola Aina and Henry Onyekuru can come in and show what they're about. The latter two have both enjoyed fruitful loans at Torino and Galatasary respectively last season and can feel hard done by not to be involved in the starting XI thus far.
Shehu and Azawiem are injured and suspended for Nigeria respectively.
Tunisia have no fresh injury concerns but could rotate.
Potential Nigeria Starting XI: Akpeyi, Aina, Balogun, Omeruo, Collins, Etebo, N'Didi, Musa, Iwobi, Chukwueze, Ighalo.
Potential Tunisia Starting XI: Mustapha, Drager, Bronn, Meriah, Haddadi, Ben-Mohamed, Skhiri, Chaalati, Sliti, Khazri, Khenessi.
Key Stats & Facts
- The five meetings between these two have all ended as draws.
- Tunisia reached the semi-final despite only winning one game in 90 minutes.
- Odion Ighalo in the run-in for the golden boot after already notching four times.
- Nigeria – 6/4
- Draw – 21/10
- Tunisia – 2/1
It's relatively hard to predict the motives of both sides in this third place play-off but I'd naturally expect both sides to open up a bit as there's less on the line. Therefore the even-money (William Hill) on both teams to score looks a worthy play.
BTTS has copped in 4 of the last 5 meetings between the pair and it's also landed in the last 3 Nigeria games. The Super Eagles are good going forward but can't be trusted at the back to keep a clean sheet so the North Africans should get some chances if they to try to attack.