The Warm-Up; Ivory Coast vs Mali (Match 15)

Flag_of_Côte_d'Ivoire.svg.png(wikipedia.org)
Ivory Coast

VS

Flag_of_Mali.svg.png(wikipedia.org)
Mali

Date: January 24th, 2015

Venue: Nuevo Estadio de Malabo

City: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

Time: 18:00 (CAT)

Form Guide: (Last 3 Qualifiers): Ivory Coast LWD

October 15th: Ivory Coast 3 – 4 DR Congo

November 14th: Sierra Leone 1 – 5 Ivory Coast

November 19th: Ivory Coast 0 – 0 Cameroon

Form Guide: (Last 3 Qualifiers): Mali LLW

October 15th: Mali 2 – 3 Ethiopia

November 15th: Malawi 2 – 0 Mali

November 19th: Mali 2 – 0 Algeria

The Grand Stand Prediction:

The Elephants have continued to show a lack of consistent class throughout the qualifiers and it seems to have manifested itself into a dire lack of form at the start of the tournament, for a nation desperately seeking to add to their sole African Cup of Nations title after years of disappointment by a talented crop of players; the Ivorian national side is truly in need of a great performance now more than ever, many of their fans would even take a scrappy yet hard fought victory or two if it means that their side will finally have the motivation to kick on and get going in this tournament. A tweak of tactics and a change in personnel could just allow us to see a more purposeful and determined Ivorian unit take to the field and deliver the type of performance we have waited for with baited breath.

This experienced Malian side has come into the tournament with a desire to kick on from their two 3rd place finishes in the previous campaigns; a run to the final has been something many of the more senior players have been seeking to go on before bowing off the international stage. It will be entertaining to watch the defensively solid Malians, who have developed a nice attacking edge about them recently, test their mantle against an underperforming Ivory Coast outfit with a lot to play for. The Eagles will know that their opponents are there for the taking, they could just turn up with a greater desire to attack earlier than we are accustomed to see them doing; we could just see one of the more open games of the tournament with the young Ivorian defence receiving one of their sternest tests yet.

The two nations have much to play for, knowing that all the teams in the tournament still have an equal chance at progressing or being obliged to pack their bags for a flight out of Equatorial Guinea; the game will be one for the neutrals to enjoy, packed with just the right balance of expectancy and talent to make for a thrilling encounter.

Scoreline Predictions: #GSVPredictor

Uncle Bob’s Prediction: Ivory Coast 2 – 1 Mali

SportsMano’s Prediction: Ivory Coast 1 – 1 Mali

Mary’s Prediction: Ivory Coast 1 – 0 Mali

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