The last two Africa Cup of Nations semi-final spots are up for grabs on Saturday, with two last eight match-ups coming your way from Bouaké and Yamoussoukro.
Here are our betting tips for the day’s action.
AFCON Betting Tips - Saturday 3 February
Africa Cup of Nations Acca of the Day
Mali vs Ivory Coast betting tips
Côte d’Ivoire supporters have already endured quite the rollercoaster of emotions at this tournament, but the host nation are still alive and dreaming of glory.
On the final day of the group phase, les Éléphants’ appeared to have suffered an ignominious group phase exit, completely capitulating, smashed 4-0 by Equatorial Guinea, thereby enduring their heaviest ever home defeat.
This result saw Jean-Louis Gasset sacked as Head Coach even though, 48 hours later, it transpired that Ivory Coast had done enough to sneak through as the fourth-best ranked third-place finisher on three points.
So then, now led by caretaker boss Emerse Faé, they faced reigning champions Senegal in a very tough looking round of 16 tie last Monday night in Yamoussoukro.
Senegal struck first after just four minutes, and 1-0 is how it remained until, with just four minutes to play, referee Pierre Atcho awarded the hosts a penalty, that Franck Kessié cooly slotted home.
This was not the end of the 12-yard action, with the tie ultimately decided by a penalty competition.
Nicolas Pépé, Christian Kouamé, Sébastien Haller and Serge Aurier all held their nerve, with Senegal missing their third spot-kick, meaning, by the time Kessié converted again, Ivory Coast were through.
In summary, the 1992 and 2015 champions have certainly had to work hard just to get this far, with Côte d’Ivoire now slight-favourites to get through to the semis.
Mali though cannot be underestimated, as they aim to reach the last four for the seventh time, most-recently achieving this in 2013.
Les Aigles came through the group phase unbeaten, before ousting Burkina Faso 2-1 on Tuesday, with Lassine Sinayoko the match-winner in Korhogo; he’s now scored three of their five goals at this tournament.
Éric Chelle’s team does contain plenty of top-talent and, with the winners of this tie facing either DR Congo or Guinea in the semi-finals, there is genuine belief that Mali could reach a first final for 52 years.
The last time these two went head-to-head was at the 2019 Cup of Nations, with Côte d’Ivoire prevailing 1-0 in that round of 16 tie, courtesy of a late winner from Wilfried Zaha in Suez.
Roared on by the home crowd, we expect the hosts to prevail at Stade de la Paix.
Cape Verde vs South Africa betting tips
Completing the semi-final line-up will be the winners of this match-up at Stade Charles Konan Banny and, in truth, both will feel they have a golden opportunity of going even further.
Cape Verde did reach the quarter-finals as debutants 11 years ago but, should they prevail here, it would be the first time they’ve ever featured in the last four.
At this edition, Bubista’s team have been impressive, topping their group unbeaten, most notably beating Ghana in the last minute and then holding Egypt to a 2-2 draw.
Then, in Monday’s last 16 clash with Mauritania, following a rather uneventful 86 minutes at Le Félicia, the Blue Sharks were awarded a late penalty by referee Mohamed Adel and Ryan Mendes converted to snatch victory.
So now, Cape Verde might just kick off this quarter-final tie as slight-favourites.
South Africa meantime, prior to Tuesday night, had won just one Africa Cup of Nations knockout tie since 2000, but are now on the cusp of a first semi-final appearance for 24 years.
Bafana Bafana went into their clash with World Cup semi-finalists Morocco as huge underdogs, but pulled off a massive upset by prevailing 2-0 in San Pédro.
Evidence Makgopa slotted home soon after half time before, in the 95th minute, Teboho Mokoena’s sublime free-kick secured the win, this moments after Achraf Hakimi had thwacked the crossbar with a penalty.
Five years ago, South Africa knocked out Egypt on home soil in Cairo, with Hugo Broos’ team pulling off an equally unlikely round of 16 upset at Stade Laurent Pokou this week.
Now, these two nations will meet at an AFCON for just the second time, playing out a very forgettable goalless draw in the tournament opener at Soccer City in Johannesburg 11 years ago.
That year, both teams were eliminated in the quarter-finals but, this time, one will get through to the semis, and we give the slight-edge to Cape Verde in Yamoussoukro.