We’ve reached the semi-final stage at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, with both matches taking place on Wednesday night, as the first tie takes place in Bouaké, before the hosts are in action in Abidjan.
Here are our betting tips for the day’s action.
AFCON Betting Tips - Wednesday 7 February
Africa Cup of Nations Double of the Day
Nigeria vs South Africa betting tips
Who will book their place in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations Final?
Nigeria are three-times African Champions, most-recently hoisting aloft this trophy in Johannesburg 11 years ago, and they come into this tie as firm favourites to reach an eighth final.
Since drawing with Equatorial Guinea in their opener, the Super Eagles have won all four matches without conceding, including overcoming Cameroon 2-0 in the round of 16, thanks to Ademola Lookman’s brace.
Then, in Friday’s quarter-finals, Lookman was the hero again as José Peseiro’s team proved to be too strong for Angola at Stade Félix-Houphouët-Boigny, prevailing 1-0.
Prior to the tournament, the general consensus was that Nigeria possessed enough firepower to go all the way, but that their defensive fallibility would ultimately cost them.
In contrast, as mentioned, they’ve gone over 414 minutes without conceding, while the back three of William Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi and Calvin Bassey that Peseiro is deploying appears to be rock-solid.
Thus, a Nigerian victory in Bouaké is expected by most.
South Africa meantime won this competition on debut in 1996, also reaching the ‘98 final and 2000 semis, but this is their first appearance in the last four since those glory days 24 years ago.
Bafana Bafana only won one of their group games, this against minnows Namibia, so went into last Tuesday’s round of 16 tie against Morocco in San Pédro as huge underdogs.
This has been an AFCON of shocks, but their 2-0 victory over the World Cup semi-finalists might just top the lot, with second half goals from Evidence Makgopa and then Teboho Mokoena securing a famous 2-0 win.
The latter was a thunderous free-kick that thwacked in off the crossbar, making a very satisfying sound.
After that, on Saturday night, Hugo Broos’ side played out a rather dire goalless draw with Cape Verde in Yamoussoukro, meaning a penalty shootout was required.
Of the nine spot-kicks taken, only three were scored, with goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, quite astonishingly, saving four of the five he faced as South Africa got through 2-1 in the shootout.
In the history of the Cup of Nations, there have been 43 penalty shootouts, with this the first to see three or fewer spot-kicks converted.
Forget all of that, Bafana Bafana do not care, because they’re just two games away from an unlikely triumph.
The last time these two nations met was at the 2019 AFCON, with Nigeria winning that quarter-final 2-1 in Cairo, courtesy of a dramatic 89th minute winner from William Troost-Ekong.
As they reconvene at Stade de la Paix, we’re backing Nigeria to repeat that victory and secure their place in Sunday’s final.
Ivory Coast vs DR Congo betting tips
Straight after the first semi-final is finished, attention will instantaneously turn to Abidjan where the hosts feel unbeatable.
When the final whistle was blown after their final group game, a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Equatorial Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire believed they were out, so much so that head coach Jean-Louis Gasset was sacked.
Les Éléphants ended up third in Group A with three points and a -3 goal difference but, 48 hours later, it transpired they had done enough to sneak through, courtesy of Morocco’s 1-0 win over Zambia.
Nevertheless, as a third-place finisher, Ivory Coast had to take on holders Senegal in the round of 16.
Emerse Faé’s side found themselves 1-0 down after just four minutes in Yamoussoukro, on the brink of elimination, until Franck Kessié converted a spot-kick four minutes from time.
Ivory Coast then kept their cool, scoring all five of their penalties in the shootout, with Kessié's second spot-kick of the night seeing them through.
If you thought that was dramatic, just wait until you hear about Côte d’Ivoire’s quarter-final victory over Mali on Saturday.
Odilon Kossounou was sent off on the cusp of half time for a last-man foul, before Mali broke the deadlock with just 18 minutes to play, leaving them with a mountain to climb.
It remained 1-0 until stoppage time when a shot from Seko Fofana was blocked, but fell at the feat of Simon Adingra to poke home a dramatic equaliser.
Then, just as everyone was poised for penalties, Oumar Diakité's back-heal flick snatched victory, thereby sparking scenes of jubilation, so much so that the scorer was shown a second yellow for taking off his shirt.
So, despite ending the night with nine-men, les Éléphants had done it, with Ivorian supporters now very much believing their name is on the trophy.
Opponents DR Congo though will be no pushovers; having already taken out the record winners, can they now knock out the hosts?
In the round of 16, les Léopards overcame seven-times champions Egypt on penalties, with goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi converting the decisive spot-kick in San Pédro.
Then, on Friday, they ousted Guinea 3-1 in the quarter-finals, with Chancel Mbemba firing home an equaliser and Yoane Wissa converting a penalty before Arthur Masuaku cross-come-shot free-kick secured victory.
So, this is DR Congo’s sixth appearance in the last four, beaten by South Africa in ‘98 and Côte d’Ivoire in 2015 at this stage since they last got their hands on the trophy all the way back in 1974.
As mentioned, these two met in the semi-finals in Bata nine years ago, with Ivory Coast prevailing 3-1 en route to the title.
Roared on by a huge crowd at Stade Alassane Ouattara, we make the hosts slight favourites because, given what they’ve produced in the knockout phase already, you can’t back against them, can you?