Close Encounter In All-Congo Clash
Congo v DR Congo
Neighbours Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo meet in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals this Saturday…
Consecutive wins against Gabon and Burkina Faso backed up an opening-match draw with Equatorial Guinea to secure Congo’s comfortable progression to the knockout stages of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Former West Brom loanee Thievy Bifouma has scored two of Congo’s four goals in the competition so far with Fabrice N’Guessi and Prince Oniangue scoring the other two.
Congo’s progression to this stage makes it a remarkable seventh quarterfinal at the tournament for manager Claude LeRoy who has previously taken Cameroon, Senegal, Ghana and this weekend’s opponents DR Congo to the last eight of the Africa Cup of Nations. A feat made all the more impressive by the fact that Congo had not won an Afcon finals game for 40 years prior to this January.
DR Congo’s route to the quarterfinals has also been an intriguing one as they progressed with three draws from three matches to make it a record breaking six consecutive draws at the Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Crystal Palace’s Yannick Bolasie scored in their opening 1-1 draw with Zambia, with a 0-0 draw against Cape Verde Islands and then another 1-1 scoreline, this time against Tunisia, to follow.
Congo will be hoping for better luck when travelling to this weekend’s game after their bus broke down en route to their final group stage match against Burkina Faso. This coming after coach Claude LeRoy complained about his team’s hotel having exposed electrical cables and not having running water.
DR Congo striker Jeremy Bokila has commented that his side need more quality in midfield in order to make the most of their talented forward line that includes Dynamo Kiev’s Dieumerci Mbokani, Osasuna’s Cedric Mabwati, Yannick Bolasie and Caf’s Africa-based Player of the Year Firmin Mubele Ndombe.
DR Congo have the slight edge in the head-to-head records having won two and drawn one of the previous four meetings, however, Congo did win the most recent match by a narrow 1-0 scoreline.
Congo have upset the odds to reach this stage of the tournament and are rewarded by going into this one as the slight favourites. DR Congo, despite their attacking talent, have done very little to impress so far this tournament and there is no reason why Congo and their experienced manager should fear their neighbours.
Odds of 7/4 on a Congo win look to be good value, but if you want to play it safe against Africa’s draw specialists then take the 5/6 about LeRoy’s men progressing to the semi-finals. It may take extra time and penalties.
Under 2.5 goals has been a profitable bet this tournament and the selection is priced at an accordingly short 4/9. However, there have been a lot of matches featuring exactly two goals and perhaps the value is now with the Over 2.5 goals selection at odds of 13/8.