Mali will be looking to confirm their spot in the next round of the African Nations Championship this weekend, as they come up against Zimbabwe.
African Nations Championship
There will be an emphasis on Mali coming into this final group game of the African Nations Championship, as they will need three points to ensure their passage through to the next round of the competition. They are currently sitting second in the group, but defeat in this game could allow Burkina Faso to pounce and steal the second spot in the group. Mali won on the opening day of the Group A, as they picked up a 1-0 win against Burkina Faso, but they were held in their most recent fixture against Cameroon. A win in that game could have sealed their place in the next round of the competition, but the two competitive sides played out a 1-1 draw. Both goals in the game came in the opening 12 minutes, with Issaka Samake scoring the equalising goal for Mali after Cameroon broke the deadlock in the sixth minute.
Zimbabwe’s hopes of making it out of Group A are over, as they can mathematically not qualify for the next round after being beaten in their opening two group matches. They will be looking to restore some pride in this final group game, but that could be a challenging ask against a side with something to play for. Zimbabwe already had a tough challenge on their hands to reach the next round after being beaten by Cameroon in their opening match. They were beaten by Burkina Faso 3-1 in their last game, with Partson Jaure scoring the goal for Zimbabwe in that defeat.
Zimbabwe vs Mali Head To Head
The head-to-head record shows that these sides match up much closer than many would have thought. Zimbabwe and Mali have both won two games apiece, but Zimbabwe’s last win in this fixture came ten years ago. The most recent fixture was won by Mali in the 2016 African Nations Championship, as they claimed a 1-0 success.
Zimbabwe vs Mali Prediction
Mali will be aware that only a win will do in this fixture, as that will be the most straightforward way to book their spot in the next round. There hasn’t been much evidence in the competition so far that Zimbabwe are capable of causing a shock, which means that the preference is for Mali to get the three points.
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