AFCON 2013 Quarter Semi Final Match Preview: Mali v Nigeria
Mali v Nigeria Match Preview
Mali have a side built for aggressive force that doesn’t stand up too well against opposition with flair and intricate passing, in which case a 4-5-1 formation will take shape when they face the mighty Nigeria. With a lone striker on top Mali will aim to boss the midfield and dominate play through the centre of the park.
Mail’s physical style of play will work against them this time round as many of the first-team squad are on a caution and will be instructed to tentative when going in for challenges or else face missing the final should they proceed on Wednesday.
Possible Starting XI (4-5-1): Diakite(GK); Diawara, Tamboura, Coulibaly, Wague; Sissoko, Keita, Sow, Diakité, Maíga; Samassa
After two draws and a win in the group stages and then overcoming a difficult encounter with favourites Ivory Coast, Nigeria have emerged as the tournament underdogs. The driving force behind their success so far has been Emenike who is amongst the top scorers with three goals. Chelsea attacker Victor Moses also has two goals to his name, both from the spot kick.
Extra support has been apparent in the form of John Obi Mikel, also of Chelsea, who despite missing a penalty against Zambia has established himself as a no-nonsense central enforcer.
Possible Starting XI (4-3-3): Enyeama(GK); Elderson, Ambrose, Obobona, Omeruo; Ideye, Mikel, Onazi; Emenike, Moses, Mbah
Mali v Nigeria Betting Predictions
Nigeria are in pole position to clinch the trophy this year, the team’s confidence is underlined by flattering odds from betting websites. The predictions across the board point to a narrow win for the match favourites, with a slender goal margin. It won’t be an easy for Nigeria to hold off Mali but from recent games in this year’s AFCON tournament there’s evidently enough depth in talent to see them sail through to the final.