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Jan 20, 2022 at 7pm UK
Mali
2 - 0
Mauritania
Haidara (2'), Kone (49' pen.)
Bissouma (60')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Abeid (48'), Thiam (78')

Preview: Mali vs. Mauritania - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Mali vs. Mauritania - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Africa Cup of Nations clash between Mali and Mauritania, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

In the final round of group-stage matches at the Africa Cup of Nations, Mali and Mauritania go head to head at the Douala Stadium on Thursday.

Mauritania will look to bid the tournament farewell on a high note after losing their opening two games, while the Eagles only need a draw to confirm their place in the round of 16.


Match preview

Mali were denied an early ticket to the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations last Sunday when they were held to a 1-1 draw by a spirited Gambia side.

In a cagey affair, Ibrahima Kone scored what seemed to be the winner from the penalty spot in the 79th minute, but Musa Barrow came up trumps for the Scorpions as he converted his 90th-minute penalty to force a share of the spoils.

Prior to that, Mohamed Magassouba's side got their continental title hunt underway on a brilliant note as they saw off Tunisia 1-0 in last Wednesday's group opener courtesy of Kone's 48th-minute penalty.

Mali, who are tied on four points with Gambia at the top of Group F, head into Thursday's game unbeaten in each of their last nine competitive games, claiming seven wins and two draws since a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Guinea in the AFCON qualifiers back in March.

This superb run also saw the Eagles secure smooth entry into the playoffs of the 2022 FIFA World Cup after topping Group E with 16 points from six games, while scoring 11 goals and conceding nine.

Mali now need a draw to make it to the knockout stages and will feel confident of securing the desired result as they go up against an opposing side who have won just one of their last 12 games in all competitions, losing eight and claiming three draws in that time.

Mauritania, on the other hand, became the third side to confirm their exit from the tournament after falling to a humbling 4-0 loss against Tunisia last time out.

In a one-sided affair at the Limbe Omnisport Stadium, Saint-Etienne forward Wahbi Khazri put on a clinic as he grabbed a brace and registered one assist to hand the Eagles of Carthage their first win of the tournament.

This was a second straight win for Didier Gomes Da Rosa's men, who were welcomed to the tournament with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Gambia in their group opener last Wednesday.

Thursday's game will be the second meeting between the sides since their encounter in Group E of the Africa Cup of Nations three years ago, when Mali stormed to a thrilling 4-1 victory.

Mali Africa Cup of Nations form:
  • W
  • D

Mali form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D

Mauritania Africa Cup of Nations form:
  • L
  • L

Mauritania form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L


Team News

Yves Bissouma was handed his first start of the tournament against Gambia last time out, and after a fine performance, where he won the penalty leading to the equaliser, the Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder should retain his place in the XI.

Kone will definitely be one to keep an eye out for as the 22-year-old forward has been on song for Mali, scoring seven goals and creating one assist in his last five international outings.

El Bilal Toure is available for selection once again after serving his suspension for receiving his marching orders in the opening game against Tunisia last Wednesday.

Meanwhile, with their AFCON campaign all but over, we expect Da Rosa to shuffle his XI, handing starting roles to a few fringe players.

However, former Fulham forward Aboubakar Kamara should still handle business at the attacking end of the pitch for Mauritania alongside 29-year-old Pape Ibnou Ba.

Mali possible starting lineup:
Mounkoro; Haidara, Kouyate, Sacko, Traore; Samassekou, Camara, Bissouma; Djenepo, Traore, Kone

Mauritania possible starting lineup:
Diop; Thiam, Abeid, Yali, Houbeibib; Karamoko, N'Diaye, Fofana, Mahmoud; Ba, Kamara


We say: Mali 2-0 Mauritania

Mali were denied a place in the knockout stages last time out when they played out a draw with Gambia. However, like all good sides do, we are tipping them to bounce back to winning ways against a floundering Mauritania side and qualify for the next phase of the tournament.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38296399267393
2Liverpool38288294266892
3Chelsea382111676334374
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382251169402971
5Arsenal382231361481369
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381610125757058
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham38168146051956
8Leicester CityLeicester381410146259352
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381215114244-251
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38156173843-551
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381310154462-1849
12Crystal Palace381115125046448
13Brentford38137184856-846
14Aston Villa38136195254-245
15Southampton38913164367-2440
16Everton38116214366-2339
17Leeds UnitedLeeds38911184279-3738
RBurnley38714173453-1935
RWatford3865273477-4323
RNorwich CityNorwich3857262384-6122
Scroll for more - Tap for full version


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