AFCON 2022 (2021): What bets for Malawi?
by Kevin Richard |
Discover what bets on Malawi national team for the 2022 (2021) AFCON are recommended
January 9th 2022 is the kickoff date for the competition, which is scheduled to run for four weeks. Our focus today is on Malawi, one of the sides considered minnows at the 33rd edition of the competition.
At the close of March 2021. Malawi stunned favorites Uganda 1-0 in the final group game in the qualifiers to secure their place at the AFCON finals. A 16th minute goal from Richard Mbulu was all the Malawians needed to return to the competition they last featured in in 2010. Malawi’s elimination of Uganda was considered a big shock, as the East African nation joined DR Congo and South Africa among the big nations knocked out. So, after fashioning that upset, does Malawi have some more stacked up? Only time will tell.
Malawi ranks low among the teams that made it to the competition; 10 of the teams that qualified are below the 100 mark in the FIFA rankings. Malawi belongs there, ranked at position 129 as at November 30. A big chunk of the Malawi team is locally based but they have a few notable names. The biggest name on the team is John Charles Petro of Sheriff Tiraspol, the team that sprung a few surprises earlier in the UEFA Champions League. A sizable number of players in the team is based in South Africa, and playing in the Premier Soccer League (PSL). They include Limbikani Mzava of AmaZulu, Gerald Phiri and Richard Mbulu both of Baroka, and Polokwane FC duo of Khuda Muyaba and Mike Mkwate. Orlando Pirates’ Gabadinho Mhango has had disciplinary issues and it is still not clear if he will be called up for the tournament.
AFCON 2022: Malawi’s calendar
- Monday 10th January, 2022 | Guinea v Malawi in Bafoussam
- Friday 14th January, 2022 | Malawi v Zimbabwe in Bafoussam
- Tuesday 18th January 2022 | Malawi v Senegal in Bafoussam
What to bet on Malawi at AFCON 2022?
As mentioned, Malawi will be one of the underdogs heading to AF ON 2021, and as a result, not much is expected from them. The fact that they are the lowest ranked in their group doesn’t make matters easier for the team. In Group B, they will play the best ranked side in Africa, Senegal, Guinea – ranked 81st in the world and Zimbabwe, who are ranked 121st. The last time Malawi participated in the competition, it was a preserve of 16 teams, but right now, the expansion to 24 teams, is the positive thing for Malawi. They can still qualify as one of the best third placed teams. That will mean that at least they target a win out of the three matches. That and two draws will guarantee them a place in the next round though four points may still work. At best, Malawi can target a third place finish, and a win over Zimbabwe should be a top priority, if Zimbabwe will still be at the competition, following the changes at their FA which FIFA deems government interference.
One key stat about Malawi is that they have scored more than a goal in just one of their last 10 matches. They are low scorers and not very good in defence. They’ve conceded two or more in seven of their last 10 matches and this is just about the form they will carry to the competition. Bet on the team struggling in both defence and attack, as they head to the competition against some of the well established nations and with much better players. As they travel; to Cameroon, one thing sticks out; Malawi aren’t very good on their travels; they’ve lost all of their last six matches and won just one of 10. That sole win was against minnows South Sudan. They’ve failed to score in six of their last 10 away matches.
Malawi will not play any more competitive matches before the AFCON 2021 competition, and thus can be gauged based on their recent matches. Ahead of the tournament, they had a dismal showing in the World Cup qualifiers and lost all their last four. They failed to score in three of the last four and have one clean sheet only in the last five.
Did you know?
This will only be the third time for Malawi to participate in the AFCON finals; earlier, they qualified in 1984 and 2010 and on both occasions their journeys ended at the group stages. At AFCON 2021, they’ll only be ranked better than three of the participating 24 teams – Gambia, Ethiopia and Comoros.
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