We are now well into the Africa Cup of Nations, which has been surprisingly entertaining.
Namhlanje (today), there are a couple of games to be played in the second round of group matches.
Mauritania face Angola, where both sides will be desperate for a win. I see the Antelopes of Angola coming up trumps – they are priced at a decent 8/10, given the calibre of opposition.
However, today’s main dish is Cameroon playing Ghana. It’s an evenly matched game, with Cameroon at 19/10 and Ghana at 17/10, with the draw splitting the odds at 18/10.
I’m staying away from choosing a winner, but if you’re keen on a cheeky punt, I’d be neutral and bet on ‘both teams to score’ at 12/10.
The other games put Benin at 1/1, versus Guinea-Bissau at 33/10.
Benin for me are not a bad team, and at that price, it’s an easy double up on your cash.
Kusasa (tomorrow) there is an overload of another four games, so let’s dash through them.
Burundi are playing Guinea, Madagascar and Nigeria clash, as do Uganda and Egypt, while Zimbabwe take on DR Congo.
My picks are Burundi, Nigeria, Egypt and our neighbours Zimbabwe, all to win.
Zimbabwe are fielding several PSL players, so we can look forward to seeing some familiar faces, and will be hoping they can win.
Cross-kick to the enthralling Women’s World Cup, where it’s a European festival. Seven of the eight quarter-finalists are from Europe. However, the lone ranger team, the USA, should not be taken lightly.
Today, Germany play Sweden, where Germany are a good thing at 7/10.
Then there is Italy at 22/10 versus The Netherlands at 12/10. This game I suspect may go into extra time, and from the little I have seen, the Dutch have a little more mettle, and I’d bet on them to progress.
Whichever two teams progress, they will face one another before they play either England or possibly the USA.
I must say Phil Neville’s England lasses look to be the real deal, and I have them as my current favourites to lift the cup.
With the oval ball, it’s the Super Rugby semi-finals and by the time you read this, both games may have been played.
The second semi-final, a classic derby, had the Crusaders at 2/10 up against a fast-paced and entertaining Hurricanes side priced at 7/2.
Yesterday while I wrote this, I was praying for an upset and was considering taking a dip.
On to the cricket. It’s been interesting to see what a year in the game can do. A year ago the hosts cleaned up Australia in a series, in England, and now are on the brink of being knocked out.
On the other hand, Australia look like they could go all the way. India are the other team that should be through.
Then there is New Zealand, who are one point away from qualifying, after dropping points against Pakistan on Wednesday, in what was a do-or-die game for Pakistan.
Today is another must-win game for Pakistan, against the whipping boys of Afghanistan. Pakistan are the favourites with the bookies and are expected to win.
An interesting comparison is to look at the win/loss (and rained-out matches) stats of games played by the Pakistani 1992 World Cup-winning side.
It’s a carbon copy of their run so far. Is this an omen perhaps?
The other game is New Zealand facing Australia. The Kiwis have it all to play for, because if they can’t upset the current favourites, it will go down to the last game against England.
Then tomorrow, England play their biggest game against India. It may be difficult to determine who the home team is, as Indian supporters will be there in their numbers.
The desperate English will be keen to shake off their messy run, but may need to wait a couple of days as I think India may get up here.
Lastly, the Formula 1 is back this weekend. Once again, it seems to be another Mercedes dominant season.
Even though Valtterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton are in superior cars, watch out for Max Verstappen to put on a show in Austria.
Sangoma out, like Mzansi sport sides in big Cup competitions!@shabsgunner
Independent on Saturday