Kick-off: 1900, 09/01/2022
Stadium: Olembe Stadium
TV: Sky Sports
Cape Verde are clear third favourites to qualify from Group A at the Africa Cup of Nations and know an opening win over rank outsiders Ethiopia is vital.
This match is part of an intriguing Sunday double header at Olembe Stadium in Yaounde and follows on from hosts Cameroon vs Burkina Faso.
The onus is on the Blue Sharks to make a fast start before facing tougher tests ahead and we think they can handle that pressure.
Punters can get 1.82 for them to pick up maximum points and that is our first Ethiopia vs Cape Verde prediction.
Early Africa Cup of Nations fixtures are usually cagey contests, with goals invariably few and far between.
Admittedly, that could favour Ethiopia, who were far from disgraced when third behind Ghana and South Africa in a hard World Cup qualifying group last year.
The Walias were only beaten 1-0 when visiting the big two in that pool and took a point off the Black Stars in Johannesburg in what was technically a home game.
However, Ethiopia failed to really impress in two clashes with Zimbabwe, with a 1-0 win and a 1-1 stalemate only workmanlike efforts.
Head coach Wubetu Abate has to rely almost entirely on homegrown players and their limitations may just be exposed at this level.
Looking at the 3.25 for the Blue Sharks to oblige and under 2.5 goals in the game.
Cape Verde Odds
Cape Verde have disappointed since reaching the quarter-finals in 2013 but appear to be back on an upward curve.
They were unbeaten in qualifying for this tournament when finishing just a point behind group winners Cameroon, taking four points off the Indomitable Lions.
A series of tight tussles with Rwanda and Mozambique raises a few alarm bells, but they got the job done and that is what matters most.
The Blue Sharks were solid runners-up behind Nigeria in their World Cup pool and claimed 10 points out of 12 from games versus Liberia and Central African Republic.
Head coach Burbista can call on a number of players with experience of playing in Europe and has a couple of proven front men now based in the Middle East.
Al-Nasr winger Ryan Mendes did well with Le Havre and Lille, as well as having a spell on loan at Nottingham Forest.
Al-Faisaly striker Julio Tavares scored 80 times in 269 appearances for Dijon, including 31 Ligue 1 goals after helping them to gain promotion to France’s top flight.
Trabzonspor’s Djaniny and Garry Rodrigues of Olympiacos are other attacking threats, but we’ll stick with Tavares to score first at 5.0 in our Ethiopia vs Cape Verde betting tips.
Last competitive result:
Zimbabwe 1-1 ETHIOPIA
Nigeria 1-1 CAPE VERDE
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