The Africa Cup of Nations is nearing its highly-anticipated end with Cameroon and Ghana engage in one of the two semi-final matches at this exciting competition. Egypt take on Burkina Faso in this year’s other semi-final, but all eyes will be on the high-profile match between the Lions and the Black Stars.
Luck on Cameroon’s side
Cameroon have done well do dispatch favourites Senegal on penalties and are now heading into the semi-finals looking to grab a place in the Africa Cup of Nations final for the first time in last nine years. The five-time winners of the prestigious competition have been waiting for 15 years to retain the African title and are determined not to allow the opportunity slip through their fingers. The Indomitable Lions will undoubtedly be highly motivated to take another big-name scalp after eliminating Senegal in the previous round. Cameroon were completely outplayed by the unfortunate Mane and co. who fired some 20 shots at Cameroon’s goal. And with the game heading into the penalty shootout after a goalless draw, it was exactly Liverpool star Sadio Mane who missed the crucial spot-kick to help Cameroon through.
Hugo Broos will have no major selection issues for the semi-final clash with Ghana and is not expected to ring any changes to the team which eliminated Senegal. Tambe is expected to lead the line in attack once again, alongside Ekambi and Bassogog in supporting roles.
Can the 34-year wait be ended?
The Black Stars were beaten finalists two years ago in the Africa Cup of Nations, but their spell without the title in the competition stretches all the way back to 1982. This year’s semi-finals are Ghana’s sixth straight participation in the last four and Avram Grant’s men are hoping this is the year they break the hoodoo. Ghana earned their place in the semis after a 2-1 win over D.R. Congo with second-half goals from Ayew brothers in an arguably best performance on the tournament. Having dominated most of the proceedings, Grant’s men ended up being deserved winners who head into the next stage feeling great about their chances against Cameroon. The D.R. Congo game was a timely improvement to their relatively poor showings throughout the tournament and it will have hopefully provided Grant’s side with a morale boost they will look to utilize on Thursday.
Avrat Grant has all of his first-team choices available and is expected to field his strongest side against Cameroon. Defender Baba Rahman is the only one who has fallen of the list due to his injury which will keep him out for the rest of the season.
All of the Africa Cup of Nations excitement has come down to single moments and the sense of anticipation and exhilaration surrounding the clash between Cameroon and Ghana is quite understandable. The Indominable Lions were quite lucky to go through to the semi-finals, and Black Stars will want to make sure their favourites’ tag is well-deserved as Cameroon is not expected to endure and defy any longer.
Top pick: Ghana 2.55 (31/20) @BetVictor
Alternative pick 1: Ghana/Ghana 4.00 (3/1) @Bet365
Alternative pick 2: Ghana to win both halves 8.00 (7/1) @StanJames