All Betting Tips

African World Cup play-off second leg betting tips: Previews, predictions and odds

The five winners after these second legs will qualify for the World Cup Finals.

First leg scores: Ghana 0-0 Nigeria. Egypt 1-0 Senegal. Cameroon 0-1 Algeria. DR Congo 1-1 Morocco. Mali 0-0 Tunisia.

Nigeria vs Ghana

Nigeria World Cup

There was nothing to separate these two fierce rivals in Kumasi, but there must be a winner as they meet again in Abuja.

In Friday’s first leg, Ghana dominated the early exchanges with Abdul Fatawu Issahaku forcing Francis Uzoho into a decent stop.

After the break, Mohammed Kudus’s solo run resulted in him having a shot, but he too couldn’t find the opener.

All in all, it was a game of few chances and one that didn’t produce any goals.

Given that they now host the first leg, it should be advantage Nigeria but, with the away goals rule in play, don’t count out Ghana just yet.

Nigeria made their World Cup debut at USA ’94 and have only failed to qualify for one tournament since then, missing out on Germany 2006.

The Super Eagles are actually winless in two home games, losing 1-0 to Central African Republic before a 1-1 draw against Cape Verde.

But, prior the former, they hadn’t lost a home World Cup qualifier since 1981 and certainly don’t want another here.

Ghana meanwhile qualified for three successive World Cups between 2006 and 2014 before that streak was ended by Egypt en route to Russia.

The Black Stars were shambolic at January’s Africa Cup of Nations, winning none of their games so going out in the group stages.

This promoted a change of management with interim coach Otto Addo now looking to take his country to the World Cup in his first act in charge.

It’s fair to say these West African rivals do not like each other so, roared on by a huge crowd, will Nigeria make home advantage count at Moshood Abiola National Stadium?

Under 2.5 goals and both teams to score NO is 8/13. Nigeria to win and both teams to score NO is 15/8. Nigeria to win and under 2.5 goals is 12/5. 

Senegal vs Egypt

There was never likely to be too much to separate these two African giants but, after the first leg, it’s Egypt who boast a slender advantage.

Just four minutes into the first leg, the huge Cairo International Stadium erupted as the Pharaohs took the lead.

Amr El Solia’s ball forward picked out Mohamed Salah and his shot hit the crossbar but rebounded into his own net off the unfortunate Saliou Ciss.

Just before half time, Sadio Mané had Senegal’s first opportunity, dancing through the defence before firing miles over the crossbar.

From a second half corner, Mané went close again with a header before, from the second phase, Famara Diédhiou could only find the side-netting.

Senegal continued to push for an equaliser, Ismaïla Sarr was denied by Mohamed El Shenawy, but Egypt held on for a 1-0 victory.

Will they now make that advantage count in Dakar?

These two met just last month in the Africa Cup of Nations Final with Senegal prevailing via a penalty shootout after a goalless draw.

That was the first time les Lions de la Téranga had been crowned African champions, having fallen in the finals of 2002 and 2019.

Now, Aliou Cissé’s side need a big turnaround if they’re to make it to back-to-back World Cups and a third overall.

Egypt meanwhile have now appeared in ten AFCON Finals, lifting the trophy a record seven-times, most recently in 2010.

Despite this, before 2018, their only two World Cup appearance had come in Italy, in 1934 and 1990, before ending their 28-year exile in the last cycle.

Can Egypt cling onto their first leg lead or will Senegal turn it around at Diamniadio Olympic Stadium and be celebrating at their expense once again?

Both teams to score NO and under 2.5 goals is 8/15. Senegal to win and both teams to score NO is 6/4.

Algeria vs Cameroon

Algeria lift the AFCON trophy in 2019

Having lost the first leg at home, Cameroon have serious work to do as these two African giants reconvene in Blida.

On Friday evening in Douala, it was Algeria who went closest earlier on with Islam Slimani’s shot stinging André Onana’s fingertips.

But, just before half time, the visitors did lead when Youcef Belaïli’s free-kick found Slimani and, this time, his header proved too hot to handle.

Karl Toko Ekambi did go close to an equaliser a couple of times, but there was to be just one goal as Algeria travelled home with the advantage.

Will the North African nation make that lead count in this second leg?

Algeria looked like Africa’s strongest team not so long ago, lifting the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 and FIFA Arab Cup just last December.

However astonishingly, the Dessert Foxes crashed out of January’s AFCON in the group stages, losing to Equatorial Guinea and then Côte d’Ivoire.

Despite this, Djamel Belmadi held onto his positition as Head Coach, but is under serious pressure to lead Algeria to their fifth World Cup.

Cameroon meanwhile have it all to do after losing a competitive home game for the first time since 4 February 1973 on Friday.

Les Lions Indomitables have appeared at seven World Cups, an African record, but now look set to miss back-to-back editions for the first time since 1978.

Head Coach Rigobert Song won 137 caps as a player but, having lost his first match as manager, needs to oversee a famous comeback here.

Will Algeria’s admittedly slender first leg lead prove insurmountable at Mustapha Tchaker Stadium?

Under 2.5 goals is 4/11. Draw and both teams to score is 9/2.

Morocco vs DR Congo

It’s all to play for following Friday’s first leg in Kinsásá finished all square.

Four days ago, it was seemingly all going DR Congo’s way when, just 12 minutes in, Yoane Wissa’s shot deflected off Nayef Aguerd and in.

However, Morocco were awarded a penalty just after half time when Samy Mmaee’s flick on struck the arm of Cédric Bakambu.

Samy’s brother, Ryan Mmae, took the subsequent spot-kick, but blazed miles over the bar, much to the delight of goalkeeper Joël Kiassumbua.

However, Morocco did find their equaliser 13 minutes from time; a long ball forward was nocked down by Youssef En-Nesyri and fired in by Tarik Tissoudali.

With moments left, Ngonda Muzinga was sent off for a second bookable offence, but this proved a mere footnote as 1-1 it ended at Stade des Martyrs.

So, with the away goals rule in operation and home advantage in the second leg, Morocco a firm favourites to prevail in Casablanca.

The Atlas Lions are on the verge of their sixth World Cup appearance, having ended their 20-year exile from the competition in Russia last time round.

Vahid Halilhodžić’s team will certainly be confident given that Morocco haven’t lost a competitive home game since defeat to Cameroon in 2009.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo meanwhile have only ever qualified for one World Cup, namely in 1974 when they were known as Zaire.

Héctor Cúper took Valencia to back-to-back UEFA Champions League Finals, in 2000 and 2021, and led Egypt at the last World Cup.

But, if he and his DR Congo side could overturn this tie, that would surely be up there as one of his greatest achievement.

Will Morocco finish the job at Stade Mohammed V?

Under 2.5 goals and both teams to score NO is 10/11. Morocco to win and under 2.5 goals is 15/8.

Tunisia vs Mali

After Friday’s first leg at Stade du 26 Mars, it’s Tunisia who are firmly in control of this tie.

Mali’s centre-back Moussa Sissako was in the headlines following the first leg, but for all the wrong reasons.

In the 36th minute, he scored a calamitous own goal, attempting to play it back to Ibrahim Mounkoro but merely firing into his own net.

Then, mere moments later, Seifeddine Jaziri raced through on goal and it was adjusted that Sissako had pulled him down.

So, in the space of just four minutes, the Standard Liège defender had scored an own goal and then been dismissed.

Despite being a man down, Mali pushed for a second half equaliser, with Adama Traoré going close, but it wasn’t to be so 1-0 it finished in Bàmakɔ̌.

Tunisia were firm favourites when the draw was made and that has only been enhanced by the first leg result.

So, the Eagles of Carthage just need to avoid defeat at home to qualify for back-to-back World Cups and a sixth overall.

This seems likely as they’ve lost none of their last 27 competitive home games, winning 23, last tasting defeat at home to Botswana on 1 July 2010.

Mali meanwhile need a big turnaround if they’re to qualify for the World Cup for the very first time.

There certainly is hope for Mohamed Magassouba’s men who beat Tunisia at the Africa Cup of Nations 76 days ago.

Nevertheless, particularly with the away goals rule in operation, the home side are overwhelming favourites.

Will it be a night for the home fans to celebrate at Stade Olympique Hammadi Agrebi?

Under 2.5 goals and both teams to score NO is 4/6. Tunisia to win and both teams to score NO is 11/4.

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Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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