Friday, January 27, 2012

| by


28.01. (Sat) 20:00 Ghana - Mali

WC 2010 - Ghana Fan(Getty Images)



Paintsil, Mensah, Boye, Inkoom
Annan, Badu, Andre Ayew
Gyan, Muntari, J. Ayew


Coulibaly, Tamboura, Berthe, Kante
A Traore, Keita, Kone, M Traore
Maiga, Diabate
The two teams are familiar with each other. Three years ago, Ghana and Mali squared off in a World Cup qualifying group that saw the Ghanaians beating their Malian opponents and drawing in the return leg. 

Les Aigles feel that the opportune time has come to gain revenge against the Black Stars on a bigger platform as the two get set for a second Group D west African derby. In the first all west African clash, Mali beat Guinea 1-0.

Both teams have the chance to progress to the knockout stages with a win on Saturday. The four-time African champions will be without two key defenders – John Mensah and Isaac Vorsah – both serving suspensions.

Coach Goran Stevanovic will probably start young defenders Jonathan Mensah and John Boye in the absence of their captain. It is, however, unclear whether key striker Asamoah Gyan, who limped out of training on Thursday with a suspected ankle complaint, will be able to make it for Saturday’s crucial clash.

  • Ghana are set to be rewarded with $90,000 per player if they win this competition.
  • The Black Stars will advance to the quarter-finals if they defeat the Eagles and Guinea do not beat Botswana.
  • Ghana have played more international friendlies (nine) than their Malian counterparts (two) over the last two years.
  • Mali are known by their nickname, the Eagles.
  • The two west Africans were paired in the same group during the World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualification in 2009.
  • Both teams scored their first 2012 Afcon goals in the first half of their respective matches.
Ghana are far better on paper than their Malian counterparts coupled with past engagements between the two sides. The Ghanaians need to utilise their chances and they will carry the day.
Editor's Prediction
Ghana 1-0 Mali