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Mali vs Mauritania - Action-packed attacking contest on the cards

Lots of goals expected in Group E clash
Adama Traore is one of many Mali players who can punish an opposition defence but they have issues of their own at the back. (Getty Images)
Adama Traore is one of many Mali players who can punish an opposition defence but they have issues of their own at the back. (Getty Images)

Mali vs Mauritania Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips


Mali and Mauritania have frequently seen goals at both ends in their recent matches. BTTS is the likely outcome in Group E of the Africa Cup of Nations in Suez on Monday.

Mali Form & Team News


Mali went down 3-2 to Algeria in a recent friendly despite goals from Abdoulay Diaby and Falaye Sacko. It was the third match in a row for Les Aigles to see BTTS, highlighting a need to tighten up on defence.

There is no shortage of talent in Mali’s ranks with the likes of Diaby, Moussa Marega and Adama Traore in the squad. Mohamed Magassouba is the coach presiding over them but he has been operating in a caretaker capacity for two years since the departure of Alain Giresse.

This is a sign of the crisis that has engulfed Mali’s national football federation and speaks volume about a football nation which has not reached full potential. Les Aigles are still a force to be reckoned with and can be backed to win at 1.75.

Keep an eye on the dangerous Moussa Marega, Mali's most lethal player on attack. (Getty Images)
Keep an eye on the dangerous Moussa Marega, Mali's most lethal player on attack. (Getty Images)

Mauritania Form & Team News


Mauritania are also coming off the back of a loss having suffered a 3-1 defeat to Benin in Marrakech. The Lions of Chinguetti did however clinch a 3-1 win over Madagascar in their previous warmup match.

Ismael Diakite was instrumental in helping Mauritania reach their first ever Africa Cup of Nations. They now have the chance to ruffle feathers under the guidance of Corentin Martins but need to get their act together defensively.

Mauritania have conceded four goals against Morocco and Angola as well as three against Benin since the start of 2018. The Lions of Chinguetti have not kept a clean sheet in four matches but their attacking ability means there is value in over 2.5 goals at 2.30.

Inexperience at the top level means a Mauritania win would be an upset and is paying big odds of 4.75 whilst a draw can be backed at 3.50.

Mali vs Mauritania Head to Head


Mali and Mauritania have met four times previously with one win apiece and two draws. Mauritania won 1-0 in the 2017 African Nations Championship in their last encounter but the three before that all saw goals at both ends.

Mali vs Mauritania Match Up


If you want to back a Mali player in the anytime goalscorer market, keep an eye on Moussa Marega. He has netted 33 league goals in the last two seasons with FC Porto.

Mauritania’s Ismael Diakite is also worth watching after netting three times in qualifying, finishing as Africa’s joint fifth top scorer.

Mauritania's dangerous attack needs to function to full effect at their first ever Africa Cup of Nations tournament. (Getty Images)
Mauritania's faltering defence needs to improve ahead of their first ever Africa Cup of Nations tournament but they do have attacking potential. (Getty Images)

Mali vs Mauritania Key Statistics


  • Mali have seen BTTS in their last 3 matches (international friendlies).
  • Mali have seen over 2.5 goals in 3 of their last 4 matches (all competitions).
  • Mauritania have seen BTTS in their last 2 matches (international friendlies).
  • Mauritania have seen over 3.5 goals in their last 2 matches (international friendlies).
  • Mauritania have seen BTTS in 3 of their 4 matches against Mali (African Nations Championship).

Verdict


Mali and Mauritania both rarely have problems scoring goals but often have issues in defence. I am tipping BTTS for this Africa Cup of Nations clash with good value on offer at 2.10.

Best Bet: BTTS Yes @ 2.10 at bet365 - 3 Units
Value Bet: Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.30 at bet365 - 3 Units

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