Senegal vs. Algeria Africa Cup of Nations Final 2019 Prediction & Odds

July 15, 2019 by Ryan Knuppel

CAF Africa Cup of NationsFriday marks the official end of international soccer tournaments this summer, which we have had many, such as Women’s World Cup and Copa América to name a few with the last now being the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations taking place.

This edition of the Africa Cup of Nations was the first to be played during the summer and the first to feature 24 teams, and it did not disappoint.

With Egypt serving as hosts, the countries of North Africa dominated large portions of the tournament. The likes of Egypt, Morocco, and Algeria were perfect during the Group Stage, winning all three of their games. Meanwhile Tunisia snuck into the Knockout Stage and ended up making a run to the semi-finals.

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Meanwhile, Madagascar became arguably the biggest story at the tournament. The island nation made history by reaching the Cup of Nations for the first time and then proceeded to win its group over the likes of Nigeria and Guinea. But it didn’t stop there, as Madagascar knocked out DR Congo in penalties to advance all the way to the quarterfinals before bowing out to Tunisia.

Finally, the semi-finals of the tournament were utterly bonkers. The two games featured two a total of three penalty kicks, two of which were saved. Both games also had an own goal, including one in the 100th minute that sent Senegal past Tunisia and onto the finals for the first time since 2002. In the other game, Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez scored a wonder goal on a set-piece five minutes into second half stoppage time to send the Desert Foxes to the finals for the first time since winning as hosts in 1990.

Now that the final is set, let’s take a closer look at Senegal and Algeria, two teams that actually met during the Group Stage with Algeria managing a slim 1-0 win.

Senegal

Key Players: Sadio Mané (c), Kalidou Koulibaly, Moussa Konaté

Of course, the Lions of Teranga have plenty of star power as well, most notably from Liverpool talisman Sadio Mané. His three goals have led the way for Senegal in this tournament. Mane has proven himself capable of spectacular individual feats, which gives him a chance to be the biggest difference-maker in the finals. In fact, he’s probably the biggest reason Senegal is a slight favourite.

However, Mane doesn’t always get a lot of support from his teammates, which has been the case at times during this tournament. Senegal has scored only eight goals in six games, including the own goal from Tunisia in the semi-finals. No one other than Mane has scored more than one goal and no one else on the Senegal roster is a proven goal-scorer at the international level. On the bright side, Senegal has conceded just once in six games in this tournament, although that came against Algeria.

Odds To Win: 1.80

Algeria

Key Players: Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani, Adam Ounas

The goal from Riyad Mahrez in the semi-finals reaffirmed that he is the team’s best player and the most likely to create world-class brilliance on the big stage. The fact that Mahrez wasn’t always a regular starter at Manchester City this past season may actually be working in Algeria’s favour in this tournament because he’s looked fresh and full of energy. He’ll be a player to watch closely in a final.

Of course, Algeria has been more than a one-man team during this tournament. Mahrez has provided just three of their 12 goals over six games. Young Napoli midfielder Adam Ounas has scored three goals as well while Islam Slimani has contributed a goal and two assists. Baghdad Bounedjah and Sofiane Feghouli are also potential match-winners for the North African side. It’s also impossible to ignore the fact that Algeria has kept three clean sheets in this tournament, including their earlier win against Senegal.

Odds To Win: 2.00

Our Predication

Senegal may have the best player on the field, but Algeria is the better team. The Desert Foxes survived a difficult semi-final against a Nigeria team that’s more talented from top to bottom than Senegal. Barring a heroic performance from Mane, look for Algeria to claim the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations title.

Ryan Knuppel

Ryan Knuppel Author

Ryan (aka Knup) has been writing sports betting content for over a decade now. He covers anything and everything related to United Stats sports including football, basketball, baseball, golf and more. He has finished first place in several gambling related contests over the years which gives him instant credibility in the betting world. Ryan is a die-hard St. Louis...

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