Mali – +260 at Bovada
Draw – +184
Ivory Coast – +137
Football fans across the continent will be treated to yet another West African derby when Mali face Ivory Coast in the last 16 of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
By the time this alluring contest takes place on Monday evening at the New Suez Stadium, six teams will have already booked their place in the quarter-finals. One of those will be either Nigeria or Cameroon, who are scheduled to renew their own regional rivalry in Alexandria on Saturday.
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Mali qualified for the round of 16 after topping Group E on seven points, four ahead of second-placed Tunisia. This margin has plenty to do with the Eagles’ strong start to the tournament, as they trounced Mauritania 4-1 before drawing 1-1 with the Tunisians.
In pole position to advance having collected four points from their two opening games, Mali’s second-string side did just enough to claim all three points against Angola in the final game of the group. The only goal of that encounter came eight minutes before the break when RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara scored with a venomous drive from outside the penalty area.
Mohamed Magassouba’s charges will now face two-time winners Ivory Coast, who finished as runners-up in Group D.
Ibrahim Kamara’s men secured progression with a thrilling 4-1 win over Namibia. Max Gradel gave Côte d’Ivoire the lead in the 38th minute before an own goal by Namibia’s Ryan Nyambe set up a two-goal cushion. Joslin Kamatuka pulled one back for the Brave Warriors, but the Elephants put the result beyond doubt through late goals by Wilfried Zaha and Maxwel Cornet.
The result was only good enough for second place, however, as their six points couldn’t hold a candle to Morocco’s 100% winning record in the group stage.
Mali AFCON 2019 team news
Caretaker coach Mohamed Magassouba, who has thus far made a strong case for taking up the Mali job on a permanent basis, looks poised to revert to his strongest side having made eight changes for the 1-0 win over Angola. Key players such as Abdoulay Diaby, Mousaa Djenepo and Moussa Marega are all expected to start in Suez.
Ivory Coast AFCON 2019 team news
Ivory Coast could be without skipper Serge Aurier, who sustained a hamstring injury during his side’s 1-0 defeat to Morocco. The Tottenham Hotspur fullback endured an injury-stricken season in North London and looks unlikely to play again at AFCON 2019, although the coach hasn’t ruled out a return if the Elephants progress to the latter stages.
Mali vs Ivory Coast AFCON betting predictions
Ivory Coast to win – +137 at Bovada
Ivory Coast to win by a margin of 1 – +240
Mali may have finished at the summit of their group, but their run against Ivory Coast doesn’t make for good reading to those of Malian persuasion. Of the four AFCON meetings between these two sides, the best outcome the Eagles have ever churned out is a 1-1 draw in the group stage four years ago. The remaining three matches have all been heavy defeats.
Two-time winners of the competition, Ivory Coast are paying +1000 at Bovada to lift the coveted prize in Egypt, while 1972 runners-up Mali stand at +2500 in the AFCON outright betting.
The Elephants showed sparks of the kind of destruction they can inflict during their bout with Namibia and should be able to sneak into the quarter-finals with a narrow win.
Mali AFCON 2019 results
Mali 4-1 Mauritania (June 24, 2019)
Abdoulay Diaby 37’
Moussa Marega 45’ (P)
Adama Traoré 55’
Adama Traoré 73’
Tunisia 1-1 Mali (June 28, 2019)
Wahbi Khazri 70’
Diadie Samassekou 60’
Angola 0-1 Mali (July 2, 2019)
Amadou Haidara 37’
Ivory Coast AFCON 2019 results
Ivory Coast 1-0 South Africa (June 24, 2019)
Jonathan Kodjia 64’
Morocco 1-0 Ivory Coast (June 28, 2019)
Youssef En-Nesyri 23’
Namibia 1-4 Ivory Coast (July 1, 2019)
Joslin Kamatuka 71’
Max-Alain Gradel 39’
Serey Die 58’ (OG)
Wilfried Zaha 84’
Maxwel Cornet 89’
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