The final round of group fixtures at the Africa Cup of Nations will be contested over the coming days, and with only three teams already assured of their places in the knockout stages, there is still plenty at stake.
Hosts Cameroon (5/1 AFCON Outright), Morocco (6/1) and Nigeria (6/1) are the only sides that can breathe a little easier heading into the final group games, with all three teams having won their opening two group matches to advance through to the round of 16.
Cameroon have perhaps looked the most impressive, with star striker Vincent Aboubakar currently leading the tournament scoring charts with four goals, and the Indomitable Lions can clinch top spot in Group A by avoiding defeat against Cape Verde on Monday (Cape Verde 5/1, Draw 12/5, Cameroon 7/10 – Match Betting).
Cape Verde are guaranteed a top-three finish in the group, which may be enough to see them through to the knockout stages, but they need to better Burkina Faso’s result against Ethiopia to take second place (Burkina Faso 8/15, Draw 3/1, Ethiopia 6/1 – Match Betting).
Ethiopia could also still come into the qualification reckoning, but they realistically must beat Burkina Faso to keep those hopes alive.
Senegal (9/2 AFCON Outright) were the pre-tournament favourites to win AFCON, but they have struggled in their opening two matches and must take at least a point from their clash with Malawi on Tuesday to guarantee a top-two finish in Group B.
A point may also be enough for Malawi to progress, while Guinea know avoiding defeat against already eliminated Zimbabwe will guarantee their place in the next round, while a win is likely to see Kaba Diawara’s side top the group ahead of Senegal.
Tuesday will also see Group C reach a conclusion, with Morocco needing only a draw against Gabon to seal top spot, while a point would also be enough for the Panthers to go through in second place (Gabon 6/1, Draw 21/10, Morocco 7/10 – Match Betting).
Ghana can leapfrog Gabon into second, but only if Morocco win and they beat Comoros, while failure to record a victory is likely to see the 2010 World Cup quarter finalists eliminated at the group stage for the first time since 2006.
Nigeria are the only team that can completely relax for the final round of group fixtures, as they are already guaranteed top spot in Group D regardless of their result against Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday.
Egypt will join the Super Eagles in the knockout stages by avoiding defeat against Sudan, but Mohamed Salah and co could still finish bottom of the group if they lose to the Falcons of Jediane and Guinea-Bissau shock a perhaps understrength Nigeria.
Thursday will see the final two groups reach a conclusion, with a huge match set to take place in Group E between Ivory Coast and Algeria (Ivory Coast 23/10, Draw 2/1, Algeria 7/5 – Match Betting).
Ivory Coast currently sit first in the group and will guarantee a top-two finish with a draw, while anything other than a victory is likely to see defending champions Algeria eliminated.
The other match in the group appears to be a straight shootout between Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone, a win for either would guarantee a top-two finish, while a draw could ultimately be enough to send both sides through.
There is a three-way shootout for qualification in Group E, with Gambia and Mali on four points, one ahead of Tunisia.
Tunisia must beat Gambia to seal a place in the last 16 (Gambia 13/2, Draw 13/5, Tunisia 4/7 – Match Betting), while a draw would be enough for the Scorpions. Mali perhaps have the most straightforward task, as a share of the spoils against already eliminated Mauritania would see them progress.
In truth, all three of these sides should advance through to the knockout stages, but final group positions could prove crucial in terms of who you go on to face in the next round.