Morocco marched confidently through the group stage – now waiting with Benin a small surprise. Can the West Africans become dangerous to the favorite? Here is our betting prediction!
The group phase is over, now begins in Egypt the knockout phase of the Africa Cup. Morocco will face Benin in the first knockout round. For the lions of the Atlas, anything but a sovereign progress would be disappointing – but the Beninese were already in the group stage for one or the other surprise. What is to be expected from the beginning of the knockout phase?
⚽️ The previous tournament results: 1: 0 vs. South Africa, 1-0 vs. Ivory Coast, 1: 0 vs. Namibia
Anyone who remembers the Moroccans at the 2018 World Cup thinks of an offensively potent but luckless team. In Russia, the North Africans had celebrated some worth seeing attacking football – but neither against Portugal nor against Iran, the team could score. At the end, the Spaniards were brought close to progressing (2: 2).
Despite the early departure, the Moroccans left a positive scent mark on that tournament, and when it comes to experts, it’s mainly thanks to one man: Herve Renard. The Frenchman has been touring African football for years, and where he hires, that’s usually successful.
So in Morocco: With players like Mehdi Benatia (formerly Juventus), Achraf Hakimi (BVB) or Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) Renard found a quite talented team, which he formed within two years to a working collective.
The work of the coach is also bearing fruit in Egypt: The Moroccans are so far the best defense of the tournament, the K.O. phase, they reached without a single goal. At the same time, however, one must also state that there was very little at the other end of the field: only three goals scored the team in the preliminary round.
After all: From these three gates you made the maximum. Morocco celebrated three 1-0 victories over South Africa, Ivory Coast and Namibia, which earned them the top spot in the group. Even if offensively, very little converges, the euphoria is therefore great.
The last African Cup triumph of the Moroccans is over 40 years back. In 2019, they want to attack again in Egypt. Whether it really enough for the big hit, may be doubted – but at least the last 16 should be overcome.
➤ Possible lineup Morocco
Against South Africa Renard sparing his most important man: captain and defender Benatia. For the round of 16, the experienced warhorse will return to the first squad, from which we derive the following formation:
Bounou – Hakimi, Benatia, Saiis, Dirar – Ziyech, El Ahmady, Belhanda, Boussoufa – En-Nesyri, Amrabat
⚽️ The tournament results so far: 0: 0 vs. 0. Cameroon, 0: 0 vs. Guinea-Bissau, 2: 2 Vs. Ghana
Benin is just as small on the football map as it is on the geographical map. The republic in the west of Africa hardly takes place sporty – therefore, the knockout round of the team at this year’s African Cup is a positive result.
However, the Beninese contested their way into the knockout phase only partially convincing: Only three points brought the team from the preliminary round, they were enough to advance as one of the best group rides in the second round. Now the team has the opportunity to celebrate one of the greatest successes in the history of the association with the quarter-finals – without having won a single game so far.
As far as the less convincing part: What should be positive, however, are the draw against Cameroon and Ghana. Benin was a clear outsider against the two title contenders, but in both cases the team excelled at disturbing the circles of the favorite – in one way or another.
Against Cameroon, the team hitched in the back and touched concrete. They left the Terranga Lion to the ball and the game, but with a compact defensive bar, they kept the opponent for the most part away from their own box. Ultimately, they earned a deserved zero number (0: 0).
Ghana, on the other hand, revealed their offensive potential: with a world-class combination, the team played Mickael Poté in the second minute. The striker, known in this country as a former player in the service Dynamo Dresden, then procured himself with a tunnel ink the necessary space and closed with a pike. Although the Ghanaians turned the game in the further course – but with another strong combination, the Beninese again found Poté – who was right after a sharp cross. Ultimately, they put up with the 2: 2 against Ghana a successful exclamation point, even if the three points went bad.
In addition to Poté belong to Benin’s performers, especially old star Stephane Sessegnon and youngster Steve Mounié. Apart from that, however, the team is convinced above all as a collective that can surprise both offensively and defensively on a good day. Also against Morocco?
➤ Possible lineup Benin:
Benin coach Michel Dussuyer should make no major changes for the knockout duel against Morocco, it is to be expected with a formation, as you got to see them in the group stage. The following list seems conceivable:
Allagbe – Barazé, Adenon, Verdon, Kiki – Adeoti, Sessegnon, Mama, Dossou – Poté, Mounié
Our Best Football Betting Tips Explained Morocco vs Benin
Morocco starts as the clear favorite in the second round. The assessment of the bookmakers is understandable: Morocco is the individually clearly better team, both in the width and in the top, it can muster much more great than the West African. In addition, the form also speaks for the favorite, after all, the Moroccans plowed through the group stage with three wins from three games.
Benin, on the other hand, is above all a beneficiary of the rather permeable tournament mode of the Africa Cup: Although the team could not clinch a single victory in the preliminary round, it reached the round of 16 as one of the best group thirds.
Nevertheless, they should respect the team – after all, they unbuttoned both defending champion Cameroon (0: 0) and title contender Ghana (2: 2) one point. If the Beninians have proved one thing so far, then they can insist and defend themselves as outsiders.
The same applies to the Moroccans, who are still without a clean sheet. Offensively, however, they have not stained with fame, so you can assume that the favorite with the Beninians will get problems. In the end it should be enough – but we do not expect many goals.
Betting Prediction: Under 2.5 goals