Host nation Cameroon is the favorite to beat Gambia in the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday, but can the Indomitable Lions live up to their billing? Keep reading to get a full expert betting preview.
Gambia vs. Cameroon
Saturday, January 29 – 11: 00 AM EST at Stade Omnisport de Douala
Cameroon is in mourning after eight soccer fans were killed in a crush outside the stadium ahead of the team’s Round of 16 clash with Comoros. A further 38 people were injured in what the media referred to as a stampede.
The team will now bid to honor their memory by going on and winning the tournament for the first time.
On the field of play, the Indomitable Lions put in a pretty underwhelming performance against Comoros, an island nation that was forced to play a defender as a makeshift goalkeeper due to an injury crisis.
Comoros had a man sent off after just seven minutes, but Cameroon struggled to capitalize and they just about scraped a 2-1 win. However, the players were distracted by the situation off the pitch, and they should be focused on this game against Gambia.
Aboubakar Leads the Charge
Vincent Aboubakar, the former Porto striker, plays upfront for Cameroon alongside Bayern Munich’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
Aboubakar, who is now playing in Saudi Arabia, fired in what proved to be the winning goal against Comoros, after Karl Toko Ekambi’s strike was canceled out by Comoros’ Youssouf M’Changama.
Aboubakar is now the top scorer in the tournament, with six goals and an assist in four games. Ekambi, who plays for Lyon, has scored chipped in with another three goals.
Cameroon is the host nation, they breezed through the group stage with two wins and a draw from three games, and they have a lot of talented players, so it is easy to see why the sportsbooks make it the favorite to lift the trophy.
Barrow Is the Danger Man
Gambia is a much smaller country than Cameroon. It has some players that ply their trade in Serie A – Sampdoria’s Omar Colley, Bologna’s Musa Barrow, and Emir Darboe of Roma – but it also has some unattached players, and some in its squad are in the lower English leagues, such as Ebou Adams of Forest Green Rovers and Ibou Touray of Salford City.
All in all, it is a mixed bag in terms of quality for Gambia. However, it is undefeated thus far. It beat Mauritania 1-0 in its group stage opener, before holding Mali to a 1-1 draw and then beating 10-man Tunisia 1-0.
Barrow was on target in the 1-0 win against Guinea in the Round of 16, which teed up this clash. He is Gambia’s danger man, but Cameroon should win the game if it can keep him quiet.
Cameroon has been the top-scoring team at the tournament thus far, but games featuring Gambia have seen just 1.25 goals on average. It is a stubborn team, so this could be a relatively low-scoring affair.
Africa Cup of Nations Pick: Cameroon to win and under 3.5 goals (-111) at Unibet
Africa Cup of Nations Pick: Cameroon to win (-167) at Unibet
Africa Cup of Nations Pick: Vincent Aboubakar to score (+140) at DraftKings