Hello lads and lasses, I am back, as always, excited about the game that we all love. So, it’s been a surprising turn of events so far, with some teams delivering and others not delivering. Let’s take a look at my knock out stage predictions and see what will and is expected to happen in the near future. To be fair, it is quite disappointing that Kenya is the only team to have finished the stage on 3 points but still did not proceed. However, as they say, Rome was not built in a day. Let us focus our attention on CHAN. Meanwhile, let’s go.
Morocco vs. Benin
Where do I start with this match? To begin with, the moment that I hear the name, Benin, I feel like taking a glass and crushing it.The team that blew our chances of reaching the knockout stages. For that reason, I am obviously backing Morocco to finish this dinner off. Not because of personal reasons, but because in fairness, they are the better side in terms of game play and quality.Furthermore, they have an AFCON specialist, Herve Renard who is aiming for a third crown in a decade. Benin have also gone unbeaten but to be fair, have not won any match so far.This goes as a 2-0 victory for me in favor of Morocco.However, don’t be surprised if this game goes down to penalties because Benin are also playing as a team.
Uganda vs. Senegal
The only East African team left in the competition, Uganda are playing quality football. The 2-0 loss to Salah’s Egypt saw them miss a lot of chances. They have everything it takes to make it to the quarter finals. Senegal on the other hand are a team that is blessed with quality but I still do not know why they do not make it tick. I would not be surprised if Uganda pulled a surprise but at the same time, I think Senegal will do enough to qualify,albeit not easily. I see this game as a draw in my books all the way to penalties, or a 1-0 win in favor of Senegal, though they are not playing as a team, which may even end up going against them.
Nigeria vs. Cameroon
This is another game that I see going down to penalties. Both teams are doing nothing but playing sideways football. Nigeria should have buried first place were it not for disrespecting Madagascar in my opinion by playing an extremely weak side. This clash will go down to penalties with Cameroon proceeding eventually.
Egypt vs. South Africa
This ,in my view, is the clash to watch. This is the team we should have faced but then again I still thank God this was not the case. We would have gotten swallowed up by the stage fright of the Cairo international stadium,the electric atmosphere and the lack of knockout stage experience. Look at Gor Mahia, fantastic at home, wanting away from home especially in these Arabian countries. Egypt will do enough to get out of these because South Africa just are not playing as a unit and have already lost to two of the biggest footballing nations in the continent so far already.Sorry South Africans,you are going home.I am going for a 2-0 victory for Egypt.
Madagascar vs D.R.C
DRC are a team that have surprised many,especially me,because after their performances against Uganda and Egypt,I assumed they were going home.Out of the Blue,they white wash Zimbabwe 4-0 and find themselves qualifying,facing Madagascar.I expect them to beat Madagascar,who have had a fairy tale of a tourney so far.This goes as a 2-1 win for DR Congo in my view
Algeria vs Guinea
I must admit,Algeria are the best team I have seen so far this tournament.This is not the Algeria that we have known.This is a bigger,better,more experienced squad that are playing a very entertaining brand of football.They beat Tanzania using a completely reserve squad and still managed to white wash Tanzania by half time,continually giving Taifa stars’ defenders a torrid time.They may even go on to win the tourney because they are also playing as a team.End of the road for Paul Put’s men who are even missing the services of star player Naby Keita. This goes as a 2-0 victory in favor of the Algerians for me.They are also my dark horses .
Mali vs Ivory Coast
This is the toughest game in my view.Mali are playing with heart and determination and their results are just showing for it.This goes as another game that will go to penalty shoot outs for me with Mali winning the shoot out.This is another team that could potentially surprise many this year.Who knows?They often also reach the semi finals of the tournament.
Ghana vs Tunisia
There is no looking beyond Tunisia for this game.I must say,Ghana are even lucky to be making the knockout stages as their squad is even slowly aging and really getting outpaced of late.They are still relying on the Ayew brothers who are getting way past their prime.It is another tough game to decide,but I favor Tunisia to beat the Ghananians 1-0
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Also,let me know your predictions in the comments section below.