AFCON outright tips: Go with Ghana each-way
The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations is about to get underway in Gabon, and FootyOn’s experts are tipping 2015 runners-up Ghana each-way for success in our AFCON outright tips.
We reckon we’ve rooted out great value by recommending the Black Stars at a best-price pre-tournament bet of 9/1 offered by bet365.
You’ll receive half those odds (9/2) if Ghana just reach the final!
Who else are we looking forward to seeing at the Africa Cup of Nations? Read all about Premier League players who should make an impression.
Why are FootyOn backing Ghanaian glory or at the very least a successive second place finish?
Here are our five reasons the Black Stars stand out as the value each-way punt…
Experienced squad can go one step further
Over half the Ghana squad selected by former Chelsea boss Avram Grant have a silver medal from the last AFCON.
Against Ivory Coast they suffered the blow of losing on penalties, but now 14 of the Black Stars’ roster turn up in Gabon seeking vengeance.
The bulk of Ghana’s squad know what it takes to get to an Africa Cup of Nations final.
Star names such as Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew have appeared at the tournament multiple times and know how to net.
Meanwhile, the likes of 2015 AFCON MVP Christian Atsu and Jordan Ayew now boast over 40 caps each.
Gyan the goal threat
As his nation’s joint-leading scorer at Africa Cup of Nations finals, and their all-time top marksman, goal threat Gyan really does give the Black Stars a boost.
The skipper is formerly of Udinese, Sunderland and Rennes fame.
And Gyan has led by example in the past by finding the net seven times in five separate AFCON tournaments.
Very few true crown contenders on show in Gabon boast a predator as proven in this competition.
When Gyan pulls on his Black Stars jersey he’s simply lethal, and there’s every reason he should be again.
Just less than two thirds (30/48) of his goals have occurred in competitive internationals – that’s a whopping 62.5 per cent!
Algeria out of form
It’s always worth running the rule over the opposition too and, though Algeria are strong on paper, at the moment their attackers aren’t cutting the mustard.
The likes of Riyad Mahrez and Yacine Brahimi arrive with a combined tally of just five league goals between them this term, and the former is struggling for form with Leicester City.
Sofiane Feghouli of West Ham United is a surprise omission from the Desert Foxes’ Africa Cup of Nations party.
So, there will be much responsibility heaped on Mahrez’s clubmate Islam Slimani.
Elsewhere, usual suspects Cameroon are also looking blunter than usual amid apparent disharmony, with players reportedly attempting to boycott the competition.
Ivory Coast current crop a pale imitation
African big-guns Ivory Coast arrive as defending champions, but look underneath the surface and their squad is not all it is cracked up to be.
A spine of Eric Bailly, Franck Kessie and Wilfried Bony is chock full of familiar names.
But, when compared to a golden generation that once included a core of iconic stars and heavyweights such as Kolo and Yaya Toure, Didier Zokora and Didier Drogba, there is a sprinkle of stardust lacking.
Attacking spark Gervinho also misses the tournament.
This leaves the Elephants with an untested vintage including Championship-level striker Jonathan Kodija and international convert Wilfried Zaha.
Main rivals can be avoided en-route to final
Should the Black Stars come top of Group D featuring Mali, Egypt and Uganda as expected, they can potentially avoid Algeria and Ivory Coast until the final.
Ghana’s path to the AFCON showpiece can be relatively smooth, depending on other outcomes.
If Grant’s guys finish first they will face the runner-up in Group C, with one of DR Congo, Morocco and Togo tipped to end behind the Elephants there.
While the winner of Group A, from a kinder pool including hosts Gabon, Burkina Faso, out-of-sorts Cameroon and Guinea-Bissau, or the runner-up of Group B, likely to be one of Tunisia, Senegal or Zimbabwe behind Algeria, will await.
If other pool favourites the Elephants and Desert Foxes live up to expectations, they will both meet before the final. This clears the way for Ghanaian glory.
So, with clear gains to be had, get on that Ghana each-way price and our AFCON outright tips!
More from FootyOn
Stay tuned to FootyOn throughout the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) for more tips from this tasty tournament.