Morocco V Namibia Betting Tip: Under 2.5 Goals – 23 June 2019

International Football Tips

Morocco V Namibia

Saturday 23 June 2019 – 15:30 Kick-Off

International: Africa Cup of Nations

Pick: Under 2.5 Goals – 4/5 Bet365

 

Preview: Group D is possibly the strongest section at these finals, which means the pressure will be on the favourites in this match to secure maximum points in the knowledge that tougher assignments await them. Morocco are those favourites, and will hope to make their superior ranking and experience tell here when taking on Namibia inside the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo.

 

Recent Trends

  • Morocco, ranked 47 in the latest FIFA Rankings, qualified as group winners with a record of W3 D2 L1, GF8 GA3.
  • Namibia, ranked 113, qualified by the slimmest of margins in second place, behind Guinea-Bissau with a record of W2 D2 L2, GF5 GA7.
  • The head-to-head between these two nations strongly favours Morocco, who have won five of their six meetings (W5 D1).

 

Morocco Preview

The Atlas Lions must shake off a recent bout of poor form if they are to improve upon what is a poor record at this tournament, failing to progress beyond the group stage on four of their last five appearances. A bad spell of results leading up to these finals was the last thing needed, then, losing all three friendlies in 2019: Argentina (0-1), Gambia (0-1) and Zambia (2-3).

As enigmatic as they are, Morocco are a very talented team with their FIFA Ranking of 47 being among the highest here. Last summer’s displays at the World Cup were evidence of this, as despite not qualifying from an incredibly difficult group, their entertaining, fearless brand of football received plenty of praise. Their only point was earned against Spain but it was nothing less than they deserved.

If anything, it seemed as though the performances in Russia were a springboard for serious improvement, as thereafter they enjoyed an unbeaten six-game run (W4 D2) helped in no small part by a defence that suddenly started keeping clean sheets. Nonetheless, they still finished qualifying for this tournament with a rather mixed record (W3 D2 L1), securing top spot by virtue of a slightly superior head-to-head record with Cameroon.

One thing that could work in their favour is coach Hervé Renard, who is bidding to win his third Africa Cup of Nations with three different countries. The jewel in their ranks, though, is undoubtedly attacking-midfielder Hakim Ziyech. The 26-year-old arrives in superb form, having scored 16 times in Holland for a very successful Ajax team, and has netted 14 times in just 25 caps for his country.

 

Morocco to win 2019 AFCON
12/1

Bet365

 

Namibia Preview

Everything about Namibia suggests it could be a very brief adventure in Egypt, for what will be only their third appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations. From their low FIFA ranking to their genuinely unconvincing method of qualifying, it is difficult to make much of a case as to why a team without any stars or notable names will somehow defy their lofty odds of 175/1 to win the whole thing.

The beauty of the head-to-head rule meant a team ranked 113 in the latest FIFA Rankings qualified for this tournament (for only the third time) by edging out Mozambique to finish second behind Guinea-Bissau, this despite concluding an indifferent campaign (W2 D2 L2) with an inferior overall goal difference of -2. Just five goals scored was also a joint-low of all the teams to have qualified (excluding Kenya, who played two games fewer).

Underdog they most certainly are, but victory over one of the pre-tournament favourites in their final warm up game will have given team moral a significant and timely boost. Manfred Starke’s second goal for his country was enough to claim a famous 1-0 win versus Ghana. However, the 28-year-old is one of only two members of this squad to play football outside of the African continent, with Blackburn Rovers’ Ryan Nyambe the other.

The rest of the squad all reside in Africa and that lack of experience playing abroad, against stronger quality of opposition, in faster and more developed leagues, has to be of serious concern.

 

Betting Tips

Main Selection: Under 2.5 Goals – 4/5 Bet365

Value Pick: Hakim Ziyech to Score & Morocco to WIN – 21/10 PaddyPower

 

Betting Summary

It’s crucial Morocco make a positive start, as recent history tells us they don’t progress beyond the group stage too often (just once in their previous five tournaments) and there will be sterner tests to come in the shape of South Africa and Ivory Coast. Successive defeats to Gambia and Zambia in the warm up games have dented confidence somewhat and, although they clearly possess the better set of players, their short price feels very prohibitive all things considered.

Namibia will likely defend in numbers here, in attempt to secure a favourable low-scoring outcome. It certainly worked in their final warm up match with Ghana. Moreover, five of Morocco’s last six matches have produced fewer than three goals. So this could be a closer game than many expect. If the favourites are to triumph, their star man could very well be the architect. Ziyech has fired in four of his teams’ last five goals and also takes penalties.


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