DR Congo vs Zambia Prediction: Fox in the box Daka to strike in San Pedro

 | January 16 | 

3 mins read

Laurent Pokou Stadium san Pedro

The final action from the first round of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations group fixtures takes place at Stade Laurent Pokou in San Pedro, Ivory Coast on Wednesday night (KO, 20:00), as DR Congo face off against Zambia.

Morocco (4/9) have been installed as the early favourites to win Group F, with Tanzania considered huge outsiders (12/1). Those two nations play each other earlier in the day before a huge clash between second-favourites DR Congo (9/2) and Zambia (6/1) which could go a long way to determining the runner-up.

DR Congo could only manage a goalless draw with Angola and a 2-1 defeat to Burkina Faso in the build-up to the tournament, while Zambia's only friendly this month was a 1-1 draw with Cameroon.

DR Congo vs Zambia Betting Tips:

  • DR Congo or draw and both teams to score @ 9/5
  • Patson Daka to score anytime @ 11/4

Team News

DR Congo are captained by Chancel Mbemba (Olympique Marseille), and the former Newcastle United centre-back will be joined in defence by another ex-Premier League player, Arthur Masuaku (Besiktas), who previously plied his trade at West Ham United.

The real buzz around this DR Congo side comes at the other end of the pitch, though, with Cedric Bakambu (Galatasaray), Yoane Wissa (Brentford), Silas (Stuttgart) and Simon Banza (Braga) all vying for starts.

Bakambu is just six behind Dieumerci Mbokani in the DR Congo all-time goalscorer charts and will provide huge experience at the point of attack, while Banza - a newer name to the international scene - is currently leading the way for goals in Portugal, having scored 14 in 15 Primeira Liga games.

Zambia's squad doesn't quite boast the names of its opponents on Wednesday but there are some familiar names to watch out for, not least Patson Daka (Leicester City).

Former Rangers forward Fashion Sakala (Al-Fayha) also arrives at the tournament in impressive form, having scored seven goals in Saudi Arabia's top division this season, while fellow attacker Lameck Banda (Lecce) has a goal against AC Milan to his name this term.

Match Odds

There's nothing to separate these sides in the betting on Wednesday, with DR Congo (13/8) and Zambia (13/8) evenly-matched to secure the win, and the draw priced at 15/8.

These two teams haven't played each other since 2015 but if history is anything to go by, there could be goals. Across the last four meetings, a 2-1 win for DR Congo and a 4-1 victory for Zambia is sandwiched by a couple of 1-1 draws - it's 11/10 for both teams to score for the fifth consecutive match-up, and 13/8 for over 2.5 goals.

DR Congo or draw and both teams to score @ 9/5

This is one of the toughest games of the opening round of fixtures to predict, and the markets reflect that.

DR Congo arguably have the stronger squad, with an abundance of goals in attack, but Zambia also have the firepower to unsettle the Leopards' defence.

Ultimately, DR Congo should have enough to at least pick up a point, a result which wouldn't be a disaster for either nation.

DR Congo or draw & BTTS in DR Congo vs Zambia at 9-5Patson Daka to score anytime @ 11/4

The Leicester City striker has been in lethal form for club and country this season. Despite starting the 2023/24 campaign on the fringes of the Foxes' side, injuries to Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho saw Daka give a chance from the start in December, and the 25-year-old hasn't looked back.

Daka scored four goals in as many games before Christmas and he took that form to Jeddah last week as he opened the scoring in a friendly against Cameroon. That was Daka's 19th international goal in 41 caps, with 10 of them arriving since March 2023.

Ivory Coast were another victim of the pacey striker last year, highlighting his ability to find the net against highly-ranked African nations. DR Congo aren't on the level of the Elephants, nor Cameroon, so there should be no fear factor on Wednesday for Daka, who will be crucial to Zambia's chances of progression from Group F.

Patson Daka to score anytime in DR Congo vs Zambia at 11-4Check out the rest of our AFCON Betting Tips here.

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