Ryan Mendes (white) tussling against Mauritania

AFCON 2023 tips: Quarter final fixtures, odds and best bets



  • Jake (@JAKEOZZ) is +9.1pts in profit across AFCON 2023 so far

Football betting tips: AFCON 2023

2.5pts Ryan Mendes (Cape Verde) to commit 2+ fouls vs South Africa at 8/11 (Sky Bet)

1pt Ryan Mendes (Cape Verde) to be carded vs South Africa at 6/1 (bet365, Unibet)

This article will be updated daily throughout the quarter finals

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair


Cape Verde vs South Africa

Not the most glamourous of quarter finals. I don't think anyone expected either Cape Verde or South Africa to get here.

Bafana Bafana caused arguably the biggest upset at the tournament to get to this stage, beating the highest-ranked side (13th in FIFA rankings) and pre-tournament favourites (11/2) Morocco in the last round, though they were fortunate to do so.

South Africa celebrate knocking out Morocco
South Africa celebrate knocking out Morocco

Morocco racked up four Opta-defined big chances in the game, one of which was a penalty which Achraf Hakimi hit the crossbar with while the score was 1-0. South Africa were clinical on the day - two goals from five shots equating to 0.32 xG - and Morocco weren't. That is the variance that can occur in knockout football.

Cape Verde needed an 88th minute penalty to squeeze past Mauritania, with the round of 16 hardly their best display at the tournament so far, but one of these two will be in the semis. The bookies can't split the pair in the market, most going 17/10 apiece to win the game and 17/20 apiece to qualify.

There isn't much between them, and so I'm happy to avoid the traditional markets and search elsewhere.

One player has caught my eye, Cape Verde's RYAN MENDES.

He has impressed with his attacking output at AFCON, scoring two and assisting one in his four outings, but it's his fouling stats that stand out.

Ryan Mendes (white) tussling against Mauritania
Ryan Mendes (white) tussling against Mauritania

Mendes has committed nine fouls at a clip of 2.6 per 90 minutes, so backing him TO COMMIT 2+ FOULS appeals, even at a short-ish price of 8/11.

This bet has landed in three of his four AFCON games, only failing when he played just 64 minutes against Egypt where he registered just one foul, though it has to be mentioned that Cape Verde had already qualified top of the group, meaning the stakes weren't as high as the other three games.

Even at his Turkish club side Fatih Karagumruk, Mendes is among the fouls, registering 13 in his last seven club outings, covering the 2+ line in four of those. This bet should probably be shorter than 8/11.

Given the stakes of the game, and the likely tight nature of the contest, we could be in for a scrappy and niggly game that lends itself towards fouls and cards, and given the referee appointment, I'm also going to back MENDES TO BE CARDED as he's an obscene 6/1 to have his name taken.

For someone who has averaged 2.6 fouls per 90 at the tournament, and 2.10 fouls per 90 across his last 11 games for club and country, that is simply too large.

Referee Jean-Jacques Ndala Ngambo dished out seven cards in two AFCON 2021 games
Referee Jean-Jacques Ndala Ngambo dished out seven cards in two AFCON 2021 games

The referee here is Jean-Jacques Ndala Ngambo, who has so far reffed two games at AFCON, brandishing six yellows in Cape Verde's opener against Ghana and four yellows as Angola beat Burkina Faso - both group games.

This is a much bigger stage for him, with the stakes much higher, and given he was card-happy in the groups, they could be like confetti in the knockouts.


AFCON quarter final fixtures

Friday, February 2

Saturday, February 3


Betting tips already advised in quarter finals:

1.5pts Nigeria to win and Under 3.5 Goals vs Angola at 23/20 (Coral)

1pt No first scorer in DR Congo vs Guinea at 5/1 (General)

1pt Mali to keep a clean sheet vs Ivory Coast at 2/1 (William Hill)


More from Sporting Life

Safer gambling

We are committed in our support of safer gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.

If you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline / GamCare on 0808 8020 133.

Further support and information can be found at begambleaware.org and gamblingtherapy.org.

Like what you've read?

MOST READ FOOTBALL

Sporting Life
Join for free!
Access to exclusive features all for FREE - No monthly subscription fee
Race Replays
My stable horse tracker
giftOffers and prize draws
newsExclusive content

FOOTBALL TIPS

We are committed to Safer Gambling and have a number of self-help tools to help you manage your gambling. We also work with a number of independent charitable organisations who can offer help and answers any questions you may have.
Gamble Aware LogoGamble Helpline LogoGamstop LogoGordon Moody LogoSafer Gambling Standard LogoGamban Logo18+ LogoTake Time To Think Logo