Ghana will face Mali when they continue their Group D campaign at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday.
The Black Stars and the Eagles will battle in the second round of group matches at Stade de Port-Gentil in Gabon, with kick-off set for 6 pm CAT.
Mali opened their battle with a goalless draw against Egypt on Tuesday. The West Africans didn’t take over the match but were possibly the better team.
They aim to provide good performances in the upcoming matches against Ghana and Uganda in order to compete to qualify for the second round.
Ghana, meanwhile, got their tournament off to a winning start when they defeated Uganda 1-0, with Andre Ayew’s first-half penalty proving to be the difference between the teams.
It was not the most convincing performance from the Black Stars, but it will load them with confidence ahead of this clash with the Eagles.
They are not interested about their opponents. They are looking to win all our games to top the group.
Ghana and Mali have clashed in 16 official matches according to Fifa statistics, with the Black Stars claiming seven wins compared to Mali’s three.
The teams’ last Afcon meeting was in the third place playoff in 2013, with Mali winning 3-1. Their last meeting overall was friendly in Paris in March 2015 which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Ghana – Christian Atsu
Atsu provided pace and width for Ghana in their win over Uganda and was deservedly named man of the match. The Newcastle United winger may find Mali’s defence a lot tougher, but he will still visualize his chances of creating scoring opportunities for the Black Stars.
Mali – Lassana Coulibaly
Lassana Coulibaly was one of the surprise packages for Mali against Egypt, providing a strong attacking push from the middle of the park. His late runs into the danger area were a feature of the Eagles’ play and Ghana’s defense will need to keep a close eye on the 20-year-old.
Head-to-Head – Ghana v Mali
Ghana Fifa ranking:54
Mali Fifa ranking: 64
Matches played: 16
Ghana wins: 7
Mali wins: 3
Ghana goals scored: 27
Mali goals scored: 14
Last match: 31 March 2015 in Paris – Ghana 1-1 Mali