Ivory Coast to win at 1.8 with Bet365 (Rising, worth monitoring) - 2 units (min odds 1.72)
Correct score 0-0 at 4.75 with Bet365 - 0.6 units (hedge)
*we'll profit if this ends 0-0 0r in with Ivory Coast win
- CIV had a resounding win over Niger mid-week, they won 3-0, generating 1.86-0.21
- Niger rank significantly higher than Ethiopia in the FIFA rankings and even beat them 1-0 earlier in the group (Ethiopia won the home meeting 3-0)
- There's a chance for rotation from CIV here which could partly be reason for the attractive price, however with almost all their squad playing at a high level in Europe they should still be fielding a vastly superior XI.
- Under new manager (Patrice Beaumelle) CIV are undefeated competitively and even held Belgium to a 1-1 in a friendly.
- The one competitive slip up they had under Beaumelle was in a 1-1 draw in Antananarivo against Madagascar. CIV were the better side in that game with 1.6 xG generated and only 0.05 conceded.
- Remarkably, from those three competitive games under Beaumelle they have only allowed 1 attempts from inside their box
- Considering Ethiopia will be playing for the 0-0 I would be shocked if the visitors had many worthwhile chances.
- Ethiopia pulled off a surprise 4-0 win over Madagascar last week, a result which went against us.
- Not to take anything away from that win, but they got off 8 attempts and scored 4 off 1.9xG. Madagascar's back-up GK Adrien played that game and had a nightmare. Ethiopia also conceded 16 attempts totalling 1.15xG so don't view that scoreline as a totally dominant performance.
- Ethiopia are now coming off three consecutive 'wins to nil' but all came at home and all were against vastly weaker opponents than CIV (Malawi, Niger, Madagascar)
- Ethiopia will be travelling cross continent (5,000km) for this game and as we've seen in recent games, away form doesn't come close to home form
- In their last outing they took on Niger and lost 1-0 conceding 2.5xGA, before that they lost 1-0 to Madagascar and drew 1-1 with 143rd ranked Lesotho
- We have to go back to 2017 for the last time they travelled to a team ranked close to CIV. In that game Ghana beat them 5-0 putting up 2.52xG (the game was effectively over by HT)
Final word: The market is wise to the fact that Ethiopia need a draw to qualify (unless Madagascar can win 7-0) but I still wouldn't have any confidence in them to keep this improving CIV team at bay.