Mali vs Ivory Coast, Monday’s match for the Africa Cup of Nations, 1/8 final stage, at New Suez Stadium, Suez Governorate, Egypt.
Mali has so far made a very reasonable campaign at AFCON, ending the group stage without defeats, scoring six times and conceding two goals. They are a very talented set, but it’s a very young group, and this raises some doubts among fans if they can go further.
Mali came from a 1-0 victory over Angola in their last group game, and surprisingly, the men of Mohamed Magassouba were the winners of Group E, they finished seven points ahead of Tunisia with two wins and one draw. FC Porto striker Moussa Marega should play at the start and be joined by Adama Traore and Kaifa Coulibaly. Mali has only one victory in its previous nine games.
Ivory Coast won this competition in 2015, and now they are aiming to win again this trophy played in Egypt. In the first phase, the team won two games and lost one, scoring five goals and suffering two. Ivory Coast players are focused on this match and hope to beat the Mali team.
Ivory Coast has Ibrahima Kamara as their coach that has done an excellent job in the last fifteen matches played for all competitions and have only lost twice since January 2018. The Ivorian national team has entered this competition as one of the possible candidates for the title, but their performances are not in line with their real value. Jonathan Kodjia and Nicolas Pepe, Wilfried Zaha and Maxwell Cornet should be part of the squad that will start this round of 16.
Mali has done a bit more than was expected by their supporters and the press, while Ivory Coast has presented slightly less of what they can do. However, my prediction is in Ivory Coast’s victory, as I think they have a slightly better team than his opponent.