Ivory Coast v South Africa Betting Tips & Predictions
The Ivory Coast are vying with Morocco for favouritism in African Nations Cup Group D, although the Elephants have been handed a potentially tricky opener when they clash with South Africa in Cairo.
Manager Ibrahim Kamara isn’t blessed with star talent with his latest squad and it says a lot that the team’s captain is Tottenham reserve right-back Serge Aurier who is clearly prone to errors.
Indeed, there’s a real lack of experience at the back, with Max Gradel the star turn in midfield and the Toulouse player will be joined by Fulham midfielder Jean Michael Seri who is angling for a big money move away from the west London club.
Wilfried Bony is a decent striker for any African team to have in this competition and will be joined by Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodjia, with the Ivory Coast having been crowned champions four years ago.
However, they were eliminated at the group stage two years ago, with the team finishing second behind Guinea in AFCON qualifying and they were turned over at home to the same team.
South Africa have had a peculiar African Nations Cup record since being readmitted into the competition in 1996. They won that year and were runners-up two years later, although they went out at the group stage in 2015 and failed to qualify in 2017.
Stuart Baxter’s team went through qualifying unbeaten and finished just a point behind Nigeria, with the South Africans winning away to the Super Eagles and they’ve got a sharp shooter in the form of Percy Tau who has scored nine goals in eighteen appearances.
All of the goalkeepers and defenders in the squad play for domestic clubs in South Africa which on the one hand suggests they will have a strong sense of togetherness although perhaps they might also be short of quality.
We’re not sure that we’d back Ivory Coast at odds-on and will instead go for a draw in this opener.
Draw @ 3.50 (5/2) with bet365