Zambia caused a major upset in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, beating Ghana on Wednesday to set up a final showdown against the favourites Cote d'Ivoire in Libreville on Sunday.
It will be an emotional venue for the Zambian team as Libreville was the scene of a tragedy when 18 members of Zambia’s football squad were killed in a plane crash there in 1993.
The underdogs deserve huge credit for setting up this poignant return to the capital of Gabon. Their 1-0 victory over the much-fancied Ghanaians was a master-class in defending deep and then punishing an opponent.
Herve Renard has his team well-drilled and can be expected to adopt a similar strategy against Ivory Coast. Zambia can be backed at 25/4 (7.25) with AllYouBet.com.
Whether the Elephants can be expected to be quite as charitable as the Black Stars is another matter. The pre-tournament favourites have made serene progress thus far with five wins from five games.
They have scored nine goals and are yet to concede at the other end. Understandably, Cote d'Ivoire are odds-on favourites at 1/2 (1.5) with AllYouBet.com.
It is difficult to look past Cote d'Ivoire for the win and – while Zambia deserve their place in the final, having scored nine goals of their own en route to the final – the so-called Copper Bullets would not be many people’s first-choice of opponents when looking for a team to trouble Didier Drogba & co.
The favourites have been 1-0 up at half-time in every one of their matches so fair in this tournament. As such, the opportunity to back that to be the interval scoreline at 11/5 (3.2) with AllYouBet.com. looks to be a generous price.
What happens in the second half might be depend on how ambitious Zambia intend to be. It seems unlikely Renard would change the game plan even if they concede the first goal.
However, it would not be a huge surprise if the game opens up slightly in the latter stages and this would surely play into the hands of the Cote d'Ivoire. A repeat of the 3-0 win over co-hosts Equatorial Guinea in the quarter final can be backed at 33/4 (9.25) and that certainly looks good value.
Bet of the Day - Cote d'Ivoire 1-0 up at half-time at 11/5 (3.2) with AllYouBet.com
Value Bet – Cote d'Ivoire to win 3-0 at 33/4 (9.25) with AllYouBet.com
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