PREVIEW: Africa Cup of Nations 2019 Semi-finals

International summer action continues today at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt with Senegal facing Tunisia first followed by another big match in the evening between Algeria and Nigeria.

Here’s a short preview on both matches:

 

Senegal vs Tunisia

Sadio Mane’s Senegal take on Tunisia as they look to book themselves a spot in Friday’s final.

Date: Sunday 14th July 2019
Time: 18:00 CET
Venue: 30 June Stadium

It would be the first time since 2002 for Senegal who are the absolute favourites to win it all. The side managed by Alou Cisse have had an impressive campaign so far with four wins out of their five matches and just a single goal conceded.

Tunisia have had four draws in 90 minutes prior to the quarter-finals where they eliminated surprise side of the tournament Madagascar to make it to today’s match. This is their first time in the last four stage since 2004.

The last eight saw Senegal overcome a stubborn Benin side 1-0, and the semi-final could play out in similar fashion for Cisse’s men.

Indeed, the Lions of Teranga have been faced with defensive opponents throughout the tournament who have invited them to break them down, and Senegal have more often than not eventually found a way through.

Five of the seven goals they have scored in the tournament have come in the second half, with three of their five matches being goalless at the break.

Tunisia are likely to keep things as tight as possible for as long as possible and the north Africans have shown themselves to be a resilient outfit.

Team News

Tunisia striker Wahbi Khazri recovered from a thigh problem to start the quarter-final win against Madagascar and should once more start. Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has been Senegal’s most dangerous player and will lead their attack once more on Sunday.

Senegal predicted lineup (4-3-3) – Gomis; Gassama, Kouyate, Koulibaly, Sabaly; Saivet, Ndiaye, Gueye; Mane, Niang, Balde

Tunisia predicted lineup (4-3-3) – Hassen; Kechrida, Bronn, Meriah, Haddadi; Chalali, Skhiri, Sassi; Khazri, Khenissi, Msakni

Head-to-Head

The two sides aren’t new to each other as they met on 20 previous occasions with Tunisia currently leading the head-to-head with nine wins to the four for Tunisia. Seven other encounters between the two sides have ended in a tie.

 

Algeria vs Nigeria

Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez is up against Alex Iwobi of Arsenal as Algeria face Nigeria next in the Cup of Nations semi-final.

Date: Sunday 14th July 2019
Time: 21:00 CET
Venue: Cairo International Stadium

Les Fennecs have been close to impenetrable in defence during this campaign and are expected to make it very difficult for Nigeria to get the opening goal.

Only Egypt and Ghana have reached more finals than the Super Eagles, who lifted this trophy for the third time in 2013.

Ivory Coast’s goal in the 1-1 quarter-final draw was the first Algeria had conceded at this summer’s competition, a run that lasted just over seven hours of football.

It is hard to see them giving anything away in the early stages against Gernot Rohr’s team, which has scored just two first-half goals in five matches so far this campaign.

Team News

Samuel Chukwueze will be hoping to start after finding the net in the 2-1 quarter-final win over South Africa, having taken the place of Moses Simon in the line-up.

Youcef Atal is doubtful after being forced off in the quarter-final against Ivory Coast with a shoulder injury, with Mehdi Zeffane likely to take his place at right back.

Algeria predicted lineup (4-1-4-1) – M’Bolhi; Attal, Mandi, Benlamri, Bensebaini; Guedioura; Mahrez, Feghouli, Bennacer, Belaili; Bounedjah

Nigeria predicted lineup (4-2-3-1) – Akpeyi; Awaziem, Troost-Ekong, Omeruo, Collins; Etebo, Ndid; Chukwueze, Iwobi, Musa; Ighalo

Head-to-Head

Algeria and Nigeria have played against each other sixteen times before today’s encounter with the Super Eagles Nigeria leading the head-to-head record.

In fact, Nigeria won seven of the previous matches some of which were friendlies while Algeria were victorious on five occasions with the remaining three matches ending in a draw.

 

Betting Odds

AFCON-YB

Recommended Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals odds here!

*Odds are subject to change

The post PREVIEW: Africa Cup of Nations 2019 Semi-finals appeared first on Online Sports Blog.

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