Madagascar vs Burundi, Thursday’s match for the Africa Cup of Nations, Group B, at the Alexandria Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt.
Burundi were beaten 1-0 by Nigeria in their first game for the Africa Cup of Nations. They managed not only to withstand the pressure of one of the tournament favorites, but they also caused many problems for Nigeria in the game. Their hopes of making the next round should be based on this game as they will face Madagascar debutants, on Thursday.
Madagascar had a better start in the first match of the Africa Cup of Nations when they drew 2-2 with Guinea. They came from behind to lead the game, only to concede a draw in the second half. This result left them in the fight for the next round, with the two newcomers ready to fight with Guinea to advance to the round of 16.
Burundi is seen as outsiders in this tournament, but they have built their way to the finals. Their first appearance did not reach a generation of gold; they set up a team with a positive style of play. They like to keep the ball and open their wings, which almost worked out for them in their clash with Nigeria over the weekend. A defeat does not shake their faith in this approach, so we hope they take the game up to Madagascar.
There should be chances for Burundi to score their first goal in this tournament; Saido Berahino may even find a way to find the net. Madagascar has back problems, as shown in the goals suffered in the last game. Before the tournament, they lost four of their last five games, with the only draw coming in a 3-3 match against Luxembourg.
Of course, Madagascar has scored six times in their last four games, which shows their talent as an offensive force. They are finding a Burundian team that has suffered in the last six games, while Burundi also saw both teams’ score in five of those six games. I expect goals when these two vulnerable defenses meet when both sides desperately pursue a win. Both teams to score is a great option, even because a win can put them very close to the pass.
Bet: Both score goals