With Egypt needing just a point to win the group and Uganda wanting a point to get themselves a place in the last 16 we could be in for an uneventful night. But lets hope the hosts still want to put on a good show for their fans.
Egypt have started strongly in this year’s AFCON competition, they’ve been solid but far from exceptional and have already guaranteed themselves a spot in the knockout rounds; but a point here will win them the group as well. They started out with a hard fought 1-0 win over Zimbabwe before navigating past a disappointing DR Congo side with a 2-0 victory where we saw Mohammed Salah announce himself at the tournament with a trademark strike as he cut on to his left foot and powered one in to the near post.
Uganda also won 2-0 against DR Congo, that was their opening game of the group, they then drew 1-1 with Zimbabwe and now have a great chance of getting out of the group; something that really wasn’t expected of them. Egypt were of course the favourites to qualify from this group, with DR Congo heavily fancied to take second spot. However just a point here for Uganda will guarantee their place in the knockout stages, even if they lose, they could still get through depending on the result of Zimbabwe’s match against DR Congo.
I can’t see any reason for Uganda to alter their starting eleven given the unbeaten start they’ve had in this tournament. They’ll operate a 4-2-3-1 system with two holding midfield players, the star of the show so far has been Farouk Miya; he’ll operate in the number 10 role in support of the focal striker. He’s picked up two assists already and will need to be watched carefully if Egypt want to stop Uganda creating chances. Emmanuel Okwi is the main goal threat for the Ugandans, he’s got two in two so far and is priced at 5.5 to find the net in this one.
It’s hard to know what Egypt’s approach to this game is going to be. Javier Aguirre may choose to rest some players with their spot in the knockout rounds already guaranteed, this could see Mohammed Salah drop to the bench and be replaced by Walid Soliman. So I’d steer clear of any goal scorer bets surrounding The Egyptian King until it is better known how much of the game he’ll feature in. Mohammed Elneny and Tarek Hamed will be key to Egypt’s success here, they have the task of stopping Uganda’s creative midfield players. They’ve been rock solid in defence so far, keeping two clean sheets in their first two matches which means they’ve now conceded just once in their last six matches.
I can’t see this game setting the world alight. Both sides need just a point so will be keen to not give too much away, they’ll keep it tight and compact and I can see the game becoming very tetchy. Goals will likely be at a premium, I’d be looking at under 2.5 goals at odds of 1.44 or maybe even under 1.5 at 2.55.
There’s value to be found despite the underwhelming feel that this match has, the draw at 3.1 looks like a selection with great promise, especially as that would give both sides exactly what they want in terms of qualification.