Prediction and odds for the game: Mali (4/6) vs Equatorial Guinea (11/2)
We are backing Mali to win
When: Wednesday 26 January 2022, Kick-off 19:00
Where: Stade de Omnisport de Limbe
On Wednesday night, Mali and Equatorial Guinea go head-to-head in the last-16 of the African Cup of Nations.
Mohamed Magassouba’s team will be eying their maiden African Cup of Nations title with a highly-rated squad. They enjoyed a good group stage, recording two wins and a draw. Mali opened their campaign with a 1-0 win over Tunisia before a 1-1 draw with Gambia and a 2-0 win over Mauritania.
Mali have an impressive recent defensive record, as they have now kept clean sheets in eight of their last nine international matches, having conceded just once in the process.
The recent defensive performances have led to several low-scoring, tight encounters, as 11 of their last 12 matches have produced under 2.5 goals.
Mali have struggled to make it past the last-16 of the African Cup of Nations. The last time they recorded a win in the knockout stages of the competition was back in 2013. This game looks like a golden opportunity to improve that record.
The minnows were outsiders to get out of a group that contained African powerhouse Ivory Coast and Algeria. However, despite losing their opening game against Ivory Coast, Juan Micha’s team qualified by recording a shock 1-0 win over reigning champions Algeria before claiming a 1-0 victory over Sierra Leone.
The National Thunder head into this clash as underdogs. However, they have proven not just in this year’s tournament but in previous AFCON’s that they can cause major upsets. In 2015, they surprised everybody by finishing fourth-place, having beaten Tunisia along the way.
Equatorial Guinea have proven hard to beat in recent international games too. They have lost just once in their last eight international outings, recording five wins in the process. Their recent international games have been low on goals, with under 2.5 goals scored in their previous eight international outings. Their solid defensive record has played a big part in the recent low-scoring games, as they have kept clean sheets in five of their previous eight matches.
Unfortunately for Micha’s team, the recent history of this fixture favours Mali, who have won the last three meetings with the National Thunder.
There is no doubt about it, Equatorial Guinea has it in them to cause a shock and punch above their weight. However, we believe that Mali may just have slightly too much quality for them, so we are backing the Mali win. The other bet is under 2.5 goals scored, as both teams have been solid in defence in recent internationals, we believe this will be a tight game.
Our Tips: Back Mali to win at odds of 4/6 and/or under 2.5 goals scored at odds 4/9. (All odds are taken from Bet365)
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Which team will make it through to the last eight of the African Cup of Nations?