Ghana vs Mali
African Cup of Nation 2017 – Group D
Date: Saturday, 21st January 2017
Kick-off: 16:00 UK/17:00 CET
Venue: Stade de Port Gentil
Match-day one in this group produced just 1 goal and it was scored from the penalty spot by Ghana’s Andre Ayew against Uganda. It puts the Black Stars in pole position in this group but with a tough final group game to come against Egypt, they’ll be targeting a win here, which would book their place in the last eight. It does though again promise to be another tight affair.
Mali proved their defensive capabilities by securing a 0-0 draw against Egypt in their first group game. Their previous competitive game also ended scoreless when they drew with Gabon in a World Cup qualifier in November, so there is no reason why they won’t give Ghana a real test. Mali have a good record in the African Cup of Nations, reaching the Semi-Finals in 6 of their 9 appearances in the competition. With a final group game against Uganda, they’d have a real chance of progression if they can avoid defeat here.
That will certainly be their primary objective and as a result we are likely to see a similar game-plan from them to the one that successfully thwarted Egypt earlier in the week. This isn’t viewed as a great Ghana side, certainly in comparison to the teams that have progressed to World Cups over the past decade or so but they do still have a bit of extra quality when compared to their opponents, so if anyone is likely to break the deadlock it is likely to be them.
They are quite reliant on West Ham’s Andre Ayew in terms of creativity and goal threat, while brother Jordan is also capable of pulling something out of the bag to settle a tight game like this almost certainly will be. This does feel like it is going to be a very tight group with few goals in it throughout so backing Ghana’s talisman and perhaps significantly penalty taker Andre Ayew to score first at 13/2 could be a decent punt again.
Overall though, there is a lack of genuine creative quality on both sides, although they look solid defensively. Ghana are the stronger team but have only netted 3 goals in their last 6 internationals so backing Under 2.5 & Both Teams to Score – No at 4/5 looks to offer value.
Ghana: Team News
The manager Avram Grant is expected to make just little changes in the changes in the starting line up, Acheampong is expected to replace Baba.
Ghana: Predicted Line-up (4-4-2)
Brimah – Afful, Boye, Acheampong, Amartey – Ayew, Wakaso, Partey, Atsu – Ayew, Gyan.
Mali: Team News
The manager is expected to repeat his starting line up from the first games.
Mali: Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Sissoko – Traore, Coulibaly, Wague, Coulibaly – Sylla, Mamoutou – Sako, Coulibaly, Yataba – Marega
Ghana vs Mali: Head to Head Statistics
Ghana have won 3 of their 7 meetings against Mali, they have lost 2 to Mali and drawn 2.
This will be the third time the two nations are playing in a group stage of the AFCON competitions. They have also met twice in AFCON semi finals.
Ghana vs Mali: Prediction
After the first round of the group games, none of this two teams can be rated as favorites in this fixture. However, we don’t see the black stars losing this game, we expect them to fight hard to earn at least a point in the game.
Ghana vs Mali: Bet Tips
Ghana Win at 2.00
Under 2.5 goals at 1.44.