One of two huge underdogs left in the African Cup of Nations, Equatorial Guinea faces off against one of the favorites in Senegal on Sunday. Equatorial Guinea, Africa’s only Spanish-speaking nation, got to the quarterfinals by defeating Mali in penalties.
Senegal defeated nine-man Cape Verde 2-0 and is looking to make a second consecutive semifinals appearance at AFCON. They’re huge favorites to do so, according to the BetUS soccer lines.
- Game: Senegal vs Equatorial Guinea
- Location: Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, Yaoundé, Cameroon
- Date/Time: Sunday, 2 p.m. ET
Senegal vs Equatorial Guinea Betting Preview
Head to Head
These teams have met three times in the past decade. In the first, Equatorial Guinea defeated Senegal 2-1 in the Group Stage of AFCON 2012. In fact, all of the meetings have come at AFCON and Senegal won in 2017 and 2018 by a combined 4-0.
Mane a Maybe
It’s apparent that the expectations are high for Senegal, as their 2-0 win vs Cape Verde in the Round of 16 was met with some disappointment. Cape Verde went down to 10 men in the 21st minute and Senegal was unable to capitalize until Sadio Mane scored minutes after a nasty head collision with Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha, which got the latter sent off.
Mane, who was substituted after his goal, was hospitalized following the match and appears to be doing fine. There’s no word on whether he’ll be able to take part in this match, although there’s a strong argument in favor of him sitting out.
It would be a huge loss for Senegal if the Liverpool winger is ruled out. Mane’s replacement, Bamba Dieng, did score the insurance goal to put Senegal 2-0 up vs nine-man Cape Verde. The young Marseille forward could be in line to start if Mane can’t play.
Senegal are the only team to have not conceded a goal in the entire 24-team field and are one of the best soccer picks to win the tournament. It’s easy to see why, as Edouard Mendy is arguably the best keeper in the tournament and Kalidou Koulibaly is one of the best center backs in the world.
The midfield three doesn’t receive as many plaudits but is perhaps Senegal’s biggest strength. Idrissa Gueye, Pape Gueye and Nampalys Mendy all track back and can win the ball to start attacks. Idrissa Gueye has also shown goal-scoring ability for PSG this season.
Equatorial Guinea Hanging Tough on Defense
Equatorial Guinea have fashioned themselves as giant killers following a 1-0 win in the Group Stage that ended Algeria’s 35-game unbeaten run. The small West Central African nation followed it up with a 1-0 win over Sierra Leone in the Group Stage finale and a thrilling 6-5 penalty win over Mali in the round of 16. Goalie Jesus Owono came up big with two saves to send Mali packing.
Definitely not an offensive powerhouse, Equatorial Guinea wins games by limiting opponent chances. Despite being the better side, Mali was only able to put one shot on target in the scoreless draw in the round of 16.
For those betting online on unders, Equatorial Guinea’s matches have been a safe bet. Under two goals have been scored in each of their four matches in the tournament. They’ve scored two goals and conceded just one.
While Equatorial Guinea may not be able to outplay any of the remaining teams left in the field, they can certainly defend and hope for counter-attacking opportunities on the other end.
Senegal vs Equatorial Guinea Prediction
Both teams pride themselves on playing excellent defense so expect this to be a battle. Senegal should dominate possession but that hasn’t really translated into many goals. They scored just once in the Group Stage and could once again struggle to find the net vs a motivated Equatorial Guinea side, especially if Sadio Mane is out.
Unless one of these teams scores early on, I think this game could be decided by a single goal. The under would have been the way to go before it dipped below two goals in the sportsbook.