Defensively-Sound Mali Hoping to Dump Out Hosts in AFCON Quarter-Finals

    Mali vs Ivory Coast - 03/02/2024

    Defensively-Sound Mali Hoping to Dump Out Hosts in AFCON Quarter-Finals
    01/02/24 2144

    The Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals are upon us, meaning just eight teams remain in the tournament following a host of high-profile departures.

    With big hitters like Senegal, Egypt, Morocco and Cameroon falling in the round of 16, the stage is set for an intriguing end to what has already been an eventful spectacle.

    On Saturday, host nation Ivory Coast will battle it out with Mali for a place in the semi-finals. Keep reading to discover what Forebet’s algorithm predicts for this clash.

    Let’s start with our analysis of the hosts, Ivory Coast, who have experienced a rocky ride en route to the quarter-finals.

    Despite losing two of their three group games, the Elephants qualified for the knockouts as one of the best third-placed teams, scraping into the last 16.

    On Monday, Ivory Coast equalised in the 86th minute against Senegal before eventually triumphing on penalties, eliminating the defending champions in the process.

    Although the Elephants have struggled for consistency so far, they can take confidence from the fact that they have lost just two of their last 11 AFCON matches in normal time.

    As for Mali, they remain unbeaten at this year’s tournament, having picked up two wins and two draws on their way to the quarter-finals.

    After kicking off their campaign with a 2-0 victory over South Africa, Mali played out draws with Tunisia (1-1) and Namibia (0-0).

    On Tuesday, Mali booked their place in the last eight with a 2-1 win against Burkina Faso, meaning they have conceded just two goals in four games so far.

    When you look at the bigger picture, Mali have now avoided defeat in each of their last 11 matches across all competitions, picking up eight wins and five clean sheets.

    Head-to-head: Ivory Coast have avoided defeat in each of their last three meetings with Mali, registering two wins and one draw since 2016.

    The H2H stats also show that Ivory Coast have lost only one of their previous eight matches against the Eagles, picking up five wins and two draws since 2008.

    Team news: Borussia Dortmund’s Sebastien Haller could start for the hosts after coming off the bench last time out, joining Nottingham Forest duo Serge Aurier and Ibrahim Sangare in the XI.

    On the flip side, Tottenham’s Yves Bissouma was an unused substitute for Mali in the last match, with RB Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara anchoring the midfield.

    When you combine Mali’s impressive defensive record with Ivory Coast’s poor offensive record, all the signs point towards a low-scoring encounter on Saturday.

    Accordingly, Forebet’s predictive analytics model expects Ivory Coast and Mali to play out a goalless draw in normal time, taking the contest to extra time.

    Home team
    Away team
    Probability %
    Correct score
    Avg. goals
    Weather conditions
    0 - 0
    3.60 3.00 2.20 no no no
    1 - 2
    1 - 1(0 - 0)
    - - -

    April 2024
    Football predictions
    {"3":"March 2024","4":"April 2024","5":"May 2024"}