Mauritania – Gambia Predictions
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Mauritania 0-1 Gambia
Date: 12.01.2022 | Match at: 17:00 | League: AFRICA: Africa Cup of Nations – Round 1 | Tip: Over 1.5 Goals | Odds: 1.59 | Bookie: Unibet.
Mauritania – Gambia Match Preview
- With a combined FIFA ranking of 253, it would be fair to say that Mauritania (103rd) and Gambia (150th) are two footballing minnows. However, the stakes are high in this Group F match as seven sides advanced to the knockout stages on three points in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), meaning the winner here could progress from the group. Mauritania are competing in only their second ever AFCON, bidding to improve on their 2019 group stage exit where they failed to win a game (D2, L1), although their two clean sheets was a solid foundation to build upon.
- That said, conceding goals has been Mauritania’s Achilles’ heel of late and their preparation for Africa’s showpiece event has been far from ideal, with just one win in their last 11 international fixtures (D4, L6), collecting a paltry two clean sheets along the way and conceding first on seven occasions.
- Covid-19 has hampered Gambia’s AFCON warm-up and led to the cancellation of their two pre-tournament friendlies against Algeria and Syria. That’s hardly ideal preparation for a side making their AFCON debut, although the Gambians did top their AFCON qualification group despite being the lowest FIFA ranked side in their group, so perhaps unsurprisingly the bookmakers odds don’t reflect their 47-place deficit to Mauritania in FIFA’s rankings.
- Gambia haven’t played a competitive match since March 2021, yet their most recent competitive international form is fairly strong (90 mins only: W3, D3, L2). However, just like Mauritania, they have a knack for conceding the opener, having done so in six of those eight aforementioned games – only recovering to win in 90 minutes on one occasion (D3, L2).
- Players to watch: Former Fulham man Aboubakar Kamara may be a recognisable name in the Mauritania line-up and his two international goals have both been game openers. Another former Championship man that could be lining up against him is Modou Barrow, who registered a goal involvement (1G, 1A) in two of Gambia’s three AFCON 2021 qualification victories.
- Hot stat: Each of Gambia’s last 11 internationals (including friendlies) have seen the team to score first go on to win.