2023 AFCON Preview: Mali v Burkina Faso

2023 AFCON Preview: Mali v Burkina Faso
Sikou Niakate of Mali celebrates goal during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Mali and South Africa at Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Korhogo on 16 January 2024 ©Weam Mostafa/BackpagePix

by Thando Mpembe

Monday Jan 29, 2024. 11:25

Date: 30 January 2024

Kick-off: 19:00 CAT

Head-to-head: Mali are the overwhelming favourites heading into the tie as far as the head-to-head record is concerned. In the last five matches played in all competitions, the Eagles managed to claim four wins with one draw played during this period.

Mali managed to claim top spot in Group E at the Africa Cup of Nations and did so by recording just one win in the group stage. Following their opening 2-0 win against South Africa, Mali then went on to record two consecutive draws against Tunisia and Namibia respectively.

The Stallions booked their spot in the Round of 16 after finishing in the runners-up position in Group D. Much like that of Mali, Burkina Faso commenced their AFCON bid with a victory in their opening fixture, claiming a 1-0 win against Mauritania. Thereafter, Hubert Velud’s charges recorded a 2-2 draw with Algeria before ending their group stage proceedings with a 2-0 defeat to Angola.

Team News: Both Mali and Burkina Faso reported no injury concerns ahead of their Round of 16 clash and are expected to field their strongest possible XI.

Key players:

Mali: Yves Bissouma – After recovering from illness, the talented midfielder has been an important player for Mali during the later stage of the Group phases. Tipped to keep his place in the starting XI, Bissouma will no doubt be a key figure for his nation from here on out.

Burkina Faso: Bertrand Traore – Traore found the back of the net for Burkina Faso in the first two matches coming off the bench. After starting against Angola, Traore will likely be one of the first names on Velud’s team sheet on Tuesday.

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