The Africa Cup of Nations is through to the semi-final stages and on Wednesday evening (20:00) it's the big one, as the hosts the Ivory Coast take on DR Congo for a place in the final. We've previewed this one and given you our best betting predictions.
What a comeback story this has been for the host nation, who were seemingly down and out after back-to-back group stage losses to Nigeria and a 4-0 demolition by Equatorial Guinea, which saw the end of Jean-Louis Gasset mid-tournament and the promotion of his number two Emerse Faé. Since then, they've knocked out two tournament favourites in Senegal and Mali and now look like strong contenders to play in the final on Sunday.
Next up is a tough-looking encounter with DR Congo, who are unbeaten in their five AFCON games to date and will present a really severe test for Faé's side. French head coach Sébastien Desabre has his side well drilled and are notoriously difficult to beat, drawing four of their five games thus far in this competition. They won their first game in the quarters, beating Guinea 3-1.
Ivory Coast are without their hero from the Mali victory, as Oumar Diakité misses this match via suspension after his late second yellow card. He is joined on the absent list by Leverkusen defender Odilon Kossounou, who saw red in the first half.
Meanwhile DR Congo have a full complement to select from, apart from Watford CDM Edo Kayembe, who picked up an injury early in the tournament.
The hosts are currently 23/20 favourites to reach the final inside 90 minutes, with the Congolese out at 13/5 to pull off the shock. The draw is just 9/5 should you expect this one to go to extra time and potentially penalties.
Goals look unlikely with the Betfred traders pricing up over 2.5 goals at just 2/5. These two sides last faced off in AFCON qualification back in January 2023, where the result was a 0-0 draw. That same scoreline is priced at 5/1 tonight.
Match Result - Draw - 9/5
The Leopards are the draw masters at this tournament, with all three group games ending in stalemates, as well as their Round of 16 draw with Egypt.
Ivory Coast will have the entire nation on their back and whilst it has inspired them in recent games, it also hampered them earlier in the tournament. The Elephants were almost out in the quarters, before Simon Adingra's last-gasp goal took the game to extra-time.
I think this will be a tight, dour affair, with plenty of tackles and fouls and not a huge amount of goalmouth action. This one could be settled be penalties.
Correct Score - 1-1 - 5/1
I'm doubling down on my previous selection and am going for a low scoring draw. DR Congo have already seen this score-line three times in this tournament so far and Ivory Coast also drew with Senegal by this exact same result, before defeating them on penalties. I think we could see a repeat in Abidjan tonight.
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