Note: While this edition of the Africa Cup of Nations is officially referred as Afcon 2021 due to the tournament’s postponement, for continuity, we might sometimes refer to it as Afcon 2022.
We’re into the knockouts at the delayed 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, with the 16 surviving nations going toe-to-toe in Cameroon for a place in the quarter-finals.
A heavyweight pairing pits Nigeria against Tunisia in Garoua on Sunday, after Burkina Faso meet Gabon in Limbe.
It’s all to play for after Algeria saw their Afcon title defence fall apart in the group stage, with hotshots Ghana also among those dumped out at the first time of asking.
*All kick off times are in Central Africa Time.
Round of 16: Burkina Faso vs Gabon
The Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 kicks off with a battle between two sides that claimed the runners-up spot in their respective groups, as Burkina Faso play Gabon on Sunday.
An opening day defeat to hosts Cameroon put the Stallions on the back foot in Group A.
But victory over Cape Verde ensured an underwhelming draw with KO’d Ethiopia didn’t threaten the progress of the Burkinabe.
There were fireworks aplenty as the Gabonese negotiated a devilish Group C despite the absence of stars Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Lemina through Covid-19.
Victory over the Comoros Islands by the only goal was the perfect start, ahead of a dramatic draw against combustible Ghana, which saw the Black Stars descend into an embarrassing push-n-shove match at full time.
It was no one-off for the Panthers, either, as they remained unbeaten and secured second spot by virtue of a 2-2 draw with pool winners Morocco.
Kick off at 18:00.
Round of 16: Nigeria vs Tunisia
It’s heating up at the Africa Cup of Nations as Nigeria and Tunisia collide in the Round of 16 on Sunday night in Garoua.
We’ve got a battle of the birds on our hands as the Super Eagles meet the Carthage Eagles from across the Sahara.
Nigeria might feel they’d have been better rewarded in the knockout draw after cruising through Group D as the only nation in the tournament boasting three wins from three.
A narrow victory over Egypt in the opening round saw them break the back of the pool, leaving Mohamed Salah and Co playing catch-up.
Sudan and Guinea-Bissau then proved no match for the Nigerians, who didn’t come into Afcon as hot favourites after sacking coach Gernot Rohr on the eve of the competition.
Their opponents, it must be said, are fortunate to be in the knockouts at all, after losing two of their three fixtures in Group F.
Both Mali and Gambia, who qualified above the North Africans, came away with 1-0 wins.
But a bloated, 24-team tournament means the 4-0 success over minnows Mauritania proved enough to give the Tunisians a puncher’s chance going into the next phase.
Kick off at 21:00.
Africa Cup of Nations predictions for 23 January
Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing. Other odds added here are taken from soccerstats247’s algorithm.