2019 Africa Cup of Nations Top Scorer Betting

Prolific Mo Salah could deliver for hosts Egypt

Football Betting

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will begin on 21 June and will be held in Egypt, with the final taking place in the capital of Cairo on 19 July.

The most recent editions of the tournament featured no more than 16 teams and this will be the first time the finals will see 24 teams competing in Africa’s showpiece footballing event – and this has the potential to make the battle to be the tournament’s top goalscorer an appealing betting proposition.

 

Recent Trends

  • In only one of the last four Africa Cup of Nations has there been an outright top scorer (a player that scored more goals than everyone else meaning the award was not shared), which was in the most recent tournament in 2017 won by DR Congo’s Junior Kabananga. 2012 resulted in 7 players sharing the award; 2013 was shared between 2 players; 2015 between 5.
  • No player has scored more than 4 goals in each the last four Africa Cup of Nations.
  • Just 2 of the previous 10 Africa Cup of Nations featured a top goalscorer from a host nation.
  • The winner of the tournament has supplied a top goalscorer in 5 of the last 9 Africa Cup of Nations.

 

Enlarged Tournament Should Help

The addition of 8 extra teams should go some way to reducing the likelihood of there being multiple players finishing as the tournament’s leading goalscorer, and thus reducing our chances of suffering a dead heat. That is because an additional knockout round is now needed to account for these extra nations. More games means more potential for goals to be scored.

 

Selected Top Scorer Odds

Mohamed Salah – 11/2

Sadio Mane – 7/1

Jordan Ayew – 12/1

Nicolas Pepe – 12/1

Odion Ighalo – 12/1

Hakim Ziyech – 16/1

Moussa Marega – 20/1

Wahbi Kazri – 20/1

M’Baye Niang – 22/1

Riyad Mahrez – 22/1

Alex Iwobi – 35/1

Wilfried Zaha – 40/1

*All odds displayed are correct as of 23:00 16 Jun, from Betfair.

 

Egypt to win 2019 AFCON
9/2

Best Odds at Betfair

 

 

Betting Favours Liverpool Duo

It is perhaps of little surprise, considering the sensational season they enjoyed at club level, that two of Liverpool’s revered attacking trio are at the forefront of the betting.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were lethal in front of goal last season, notching 53 goals between them as they helped fire the Anfield club to a sixth UEFA Champions League success, as well as setting a new club-record for most points in a single Premier League campaign. The pair were instrumental, and will now be hoping to replicate their form at club level when representing their respective countries at this tournament.

It is Salah who holds the most betting appeal of the two, however. The Egyptian – who has racked up 71 goals in just 104 games since signing for Liverpool in 2017 – will be the focal point for an Egypt team that plundered more goals than any other nation in qualification (16). His record of 39 goals in 63 international appearances is vastly superior to any of his teammates, while he has the added bonus of having penalties in his locker. His personal pride at representing his country has always been clear to see and there will be few more determined to fire their country deep into the tournament than the electric winger, especially on home soil.

Meanwhile, Mane is a different beast at international level. He comes into these finals on the back of his best ever season for his club in terms of volume of goals, scoring 26 in all competitions. So he certainly won’t be short on confidence. He has never been prolific for Senegal, though, with a modest return of 16 goals in 60 caps. That is because the goals are often spread around this Senegal team – The Lions of Teranga’s tally of 12 goals in qualification was achieved with eight different goalscorers, of which Mane contributed zero.

It has also been confirmed in the last few days that he will miss the opening match of the tournament because of suspension.

 

Five Players Who Could Do Well

Odion Ighalo (NIGERIA) 12/1 – His spell in England at Watford was brief, but his record in front of goal spoke for itself. 39 goals in 99 appearances, including 15 in his debut season in the Premier League, meant he had his fair share of admirers. So it was rather odd when he disappeared into obscurity, completing a move to China in 2017. Has subsequently scored 36 times over the course of two seasons with Changchun Yatai before switching to Shanghai Shenhua.

His scoring record for his country is reasonable enough, with 11 strikes in 27 caps. Most impressive of all, he was the top scorer during qualification for this tournament with 7 goals (50% of his team’s total). If Nigeria are to do well, so should Ighalo.

Nicolas Pepe (IVORY COAST) 12/1 – Just two nations scored more goals in qualifying for these finals than Ivory Coast.  So it is only appropriate that we highlight at least one of their players. The problem for coach Ibrahim Kamara, though, is plotting how to get the best from his array of attacking talents that include the likes of Maxwell Cornet of Lyon, Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, and Lille wideman Nicolas Pepe.

The player who should be guaranteed of his place in the side, and who could sparkle at these finals, is the fleet-footed Pepe. The winger was sensational in France last season, finishing second in the Ligue 1 scoring charts on 22 goals.

His average of 3.1 shots per game in Ligue 1 – and 1.6 shots on target – are an illustration of his confidence to let fire from all ranges and he could be very dangerous if given the same license to thrill.

Hakim Ziyech (MOROCCO) 16/1 – Keen on securing a move to a top European club this summer, Ziyech will be doing his utmost to impress at these finals. His 21 goals last season helped Dutch side Ajax land a league and cup double and almost reach a Champions League final. The 26-year-old is incredibly dangerous in the attacking third of the pitch, possessing trickery and a tendency to shoot on sight.

Morocco’s chief penalty taker, Ziyech averages better than a goal every other game for his country (14 goals in 25 appearances) and scored twice in their final warm up game, further highlighting his current rich vein of form. The only downside is Morocco have what would appear to be an awkward group in with Ivory Coast, South Africa and Namibia.

Moussa Marega (MALI) 20/1 – Mali are another team boasting a plethora of offensive options, although it is Marega who could spearhead their attack despite a rather lousy record at international level. Just 2 goals in 19 caps is certainly a concern, however his recent strike rate for FC Porto means he arrives at the tournament with stronger scoring form than a lot of other strikers at this tournament.

An imposing figure capable of dominating in the air, his ability to find space could be key. He has been in and out of the side though, so does have an element of risk about him. 40 goals in his last two seasons in Portugal, including 17 in 2018-19, means he could be a contender if given enough minutes.

Baghdad Bounedjah (ALGERIA) 33/1 – An astonishing goalscoring record of 82 in 59 games for Al Sadd, who are admittedly the dominant club in Qatar, means 27-year-old Bounedjah is well versed at locating the back of the net. The quality of opposition he has to face on a regular basis is certainly questionable, however his form for country merits respects – and it’s a country that should do well at this tournament, with Yacine Brahimi and Riyad Mahrez providing the creativity and guile. At such large odds, he could be an excellent each-way bet!

Boundejah scored in all three of Algeria’s friendlies in 2019 to take his tally to 11 goals in 23 matches. He would also appear to be their current penalty taker, which is a nice bonus.

 

Betting Tips

Main Selection: Mohamed Salah Top Tournament Scorer – 11/2

Value Pick: Hakim Ziyech Top Tournament Scorer E/W – 16/1

 

Betting Conclusion

It’s difficult to escape just how impressive Mohamed Salah’s goalscoring achievements are. That applies to both club and country. 71 goals in just over 100 games for Liverpool is phenomenal, but the man aptly nicknamed the Egyptian King also manages to wreak havoc on the international stage as well – 39 goals in 63 caps for The Pharaohs is something most forwards at this tournament could only dream about. 

Salah was a shadow of his normal self at last summer’s World Cup due to injury, but it will be the complete opposite here after a successful season free of any setbacks that culminated in him collecting a Champions League winners medal. The winger averaged 3.6 shots per game in the Premier League last season so I fully expect him to be a constant menace for the next couple weeks, playing in front of home supporters who absolutely adore him. You can almost guarantee he will chip in with a penalty or two, too.

There are a fair few who provide value for money for each-way betting purposes, none more so than Morocco’s Hakim Ziyech. The 26-year-old was arguably the outstanding performer in Holland’s Eredivisie last term, averaging a ridiculous 5.3 shots per game for champions Ajax as he helped himself to 16 goals. His prospects are boosted by the fact he also takes his team’s penalties.


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