Mali vs South Africa Prediction: Les Aigles can pick up easy three points

 | January 15 | 

3 mins read

Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium korhogo

We're into the cut and thrust of the AFCON group stages and on Tuesday it's Group E's turn to take centre stage. The evening kick off (20:00) takes place in Korhogo, where the 20,000 capacity Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium hosts Mali vs South Africa. We've previewed this one for you and given you our best betting predictions. 

Mali vs South Africa Betting Tips

  • Mali -1 Handicap - 16/5
  • Ibrahim Sissoko to score anytime - 6/4

Mali come into this match in fine form, having won six of their last seven in all competitions and dispatched Guinea-Bissau 6-2 in a warm-up match last week. At 18/1 they looks a reasonably priced outright bet for the tournament.

Meanwhile, South Africa played out an uninspiring 0-0 bore-draw with Lesotho on the 10th January, which will hardly quicken the pulse of any supporting Bafana Bafana stalwart.

Having not qualified for the last two Cup of Nations tournaments, South Africa will be keen to progress to the latter stages here but that could be a tough ask against a really talented Les Aigles outfit.

Team news

Both teams look to have a full squad complement to select from for this opening tie. Mali will likely have Yves Bissouma marshalling the troops in the centre of the park, with a front three of Moussa Doumbia, Ibrahim Sissoko and Adama Traoré.

As for Bafana Bafana, it's likely Belgian manager Hugo Broos will respect Mali's firepower and set up in a more defensive 4-2-3-1 formation, with lone striker Mihlali Mayambela trying to hit the Malians on the counter.

Match odds

Mali come into this game as the 19/20 favourites, with South Africa as big as 11/4 to pick up the three points in Group E. The draw is more modestly priced at 2/1.

Goals appear to be at a premium here, with under 2.5 as short at 1/2, while Both Teams to Score - No is just 8/13.

Mali -1 Handicap - 16/5

Mali are 17 places above their opponents in the latest FIFA rankings, at #47 in the world and that has shown though in recent results.

Les Aigles have won six of their last seven games and five of those have been by at least two goals.

Meanwhile, South Africa have lost to Rwanda and drawn against both Eswatini and Lesotho, hardly powerhouses of the African footballing scene.

I think Mali could win this one fairly comfortably, with Bissouma dominating the match in midfield.

Mali -1 match handicap 16-5

Ibrahim Sissoko to score anytime - 6/4

The Saint-Etienne striker may only ply his trade in Ligue 2 but he's had a impressive goal scoring record at any of his French club sides. He made the move to Saint-Etienne in June, following 26 goals in 52 games for Chamois Niortais and has also had a good start to life in the Rhône.

The 28-year-old has eight goals in fifteen starts this season and should get plenty of service up front from the likes of Bissouma and Coulibaly.

Sissoko to score 6-4

Check out our other Football Betting Tips over at our Insights hub. 

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