With Ivory Coast and Tunisia already on three points each, both Algeria and Togo will see this as a must-win game. After both sides suffered unfortunate defeats in the first round, the team that enter this clash with a better mindset will have a big advantage over their opponents.
Very good performance from Algeria
Many were quick to criticize boss Vahid Halilhodic for getting rid of star players Karim Ziani, Nadir Belhadj, Rafik Djebbour and Madjid Bougherra, but he didn’t need a lot of time to prove everyone the aforementioned players will not be sorely missed. The Fennec Foxes may have lost their opening game at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, but only after completely outclassing fierce rivals Tunisia. Algeria were terribly unlucky not to score form a number of chances they created, while they also had a stonewall penalty denied before Youssef Msakni scored completely against the run of play to leave Vahid Holilhodzic’s players in tears. Despite the costly defeat, Algerians can be proud of their performance in their opening fixture and will certainly have something to build on when they take on Togo. With key players Adlene Guedioura, Sofiane Feghouli and Foued Kadir all on top of their game at the moment, the Fennec Foxes have plenty of reason for optimism at the moment.
With no fresh injuries to report, Vahid Halilhodzic is unlikely to make major changes to his starting line-up.
Another difficult fixture for Togo
Togo returned to the biggest stage following a three-year absence, with everybody at the national team boosted by the return of Emmanuel Adebayor and Kossi Agassa. The two players were expected to be at their best in team’s opening fixture against Ivory Coast, but it is fair to say that both of them were at blame for the narrow defeat in Phokeng. While Emmanuel Adebayor played well throughout the match, he did miss a glorious chance in the opening exchanges, after Kolo Toure had made a shocking mistake. On the other hand, keeper Agassa gifted Ivory Coast the winner in the dying moments of the match, and the two players might need some time to recover from what was a heavy blow to their confidence. Even if Togo produces a decent showing against the Elephants, I am not convinced they have what it takes to stop in-form Algeria.
Boss Didier Six is tipped to field an unchanged line-up to that which suffered a narrow defeat to Ivory Coast.
Algeria were not properly rewarded for an excellent all-round performance against Tunisia, but I am confident they can make things right in this match. Togo have shown some promise, but they seem to lack some quality as well as experience to play at this level.
Top pick: Home win 2.00 (1/1) @ SkyBet
Alternative pick 1: Draw at half-time 2.10 (11/10) @ 188BET
Alternative pick 2: Algeria to score two or more 2.55 (31/20) @ Sportingbet
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