Tunisia vs Mali Prediction: West Africans to reign supreme in battle of the Eagles

 | January 19 | 

3 mins read

Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium korhogo

Tunisia head into their Saturday night Group E clash (KO, 20:00) with Mali in Korhogo knowing defeat could spell the end for their Africa Cup of Nations journey.

The 2004 champions beat France at the last World Cup in 2022 but that counted for nothing on Tuesday as they were humbled by Namibia in a 1-0 defeat.

Namibia face South Africa in the early game on Sunday and will have the chance to qualify for the Round of 16 if Mali, who beat Bafana Bafana 2-0 earlier in the week, can collect maximum points against the Eagles of Carthage at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium.

Tunisia vs Mali Betting Tips:

  • Mali to win @ 13/8
  • Kamory Doumbia to score anytime @ 18/5

Team News

Tunisia could be without striker Taha Yassine Khenissi after the 32-year-old hobbled off in the 15th-minute of their defeat to Namibia. Khenissi was replaced by Haythem Jouini, who could be joined in the starting XI on Saturday by fellow substitute Aissa Laidouni, as Jalel Kadri seeks an improve showing from his side.

According to Mali head coach Eric Sekou Chelle, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Yves Bissouma and Toulouse defender Moussa Diarra have been suffering from malaria. Bissouma was substituted before the hour mark on Tuesday but is "ready to play" as per Chelle, who said it would be "difficult" for him to start Diarra, who didn't make the squad against South Africa.

Match Odds

There's nothing to separate these sides in the betting on Saturday with Tunisia (13/8) and Mali (13/8) evenly-matched for the victory, while the draw is available at 15/8.

Both teams to score is EVS and it's 11/8 for over 2.5 goals.

Mali to win @ 13/8

Tunisia were a tough watch on Tuesday as they failed to score past a nation 87 places below them in the FIFA World Rankings.

Gone is the magic of Wahbi Khazri, who retired from international football following the Eagles of Carthage's group-stage exit at the Qatar World Cup, and what's left doesn't look too hot.

Mali, meanwhile, are on a nine-game unbeaten run, and have plenty of exciting players in their ranks. It took the Eagles an hour to find the breakthrough against South Africa, and they were fortunate to see Percy Tau blaze a first-half penalty over the bar, but one quickly became two as they eased home to the win.

There seems to be a freshness and hunger with Mali that just isn't evident in the Tunisia side, so I think the former will pick up three points in this one to secure safe passage into the Round of 16.

Mali to beat Tunisia at 13-8Kamory Doumbia to score anytime @ 18/5

Strikers Sekou Koita and Lassine Sinayoko - particularly the latter after his goal against Bafana Bafana - are the obvious candidates to find the net for Mali on Saturday, but the value looks to be in on-loan Brest midfielder Kamory Doumbia, who was the only non-defender/goalkeeper who started and finished the match.

The 20-year-old has five goals in 12 Ligue 1 games for Brest this term having joined on a temporary basis from parent club Reims last summer, with four of them coming on December 20 in the first-half of his final fixture against Lorient before heading to the AFCON.

Doumbia has taken that confidence to Ivory Coast, as evidenced in the four shots he attempted against South Africa, with two of them testing the goalkeeper.

His late runs could cause problems for an ageing Tunisia backline, while two shots from outside the box - one from 35/40 yards - underlines the belief he has in himself from distance.

Kamory Doumbia to score anytime in Tunisia vs Mali at 18-5

Check out the rest of our AFCON Betting Tips here.

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