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[monks data]
Mali national football team
Friendlies 1
Mar 26, 2024 at 9pm UK
Stade de Marrakech
Nigeria national football team

2 - 0

Bilal Toure (18'), Doumbia (87')
Samassa (53')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Collins (90+1'), Collins (90+1')

Preview: Mali vs. Nigeria - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's friendly clash between Mali and Nigeria, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Mali take on Nigeria in a battle of the Eagles at Stade de Marrakech on Tuesday evening.

Both nations will be facing off for the eighth time in history, eight years on from their last meeting in 2016.

Match preview

Mali coach Eric Chelle on January 30, 2024© Reuters

Mali gave a good account of themselves in their first match since the quarter-final exit at the Africa Cup of Nations, defeating Mauritania 2-0.

Debutant centre-back Modibo Sagnan scored the opening goal after just nine minutes, before El Bilal Toure added a second three minutes later to seal the win for the Eagles.

The victory over Mauritania saw Eric Chelle's side extend their unbeaten record in any game that has gone the full 90 minutes since the turn of the year, having played seven matches, including five at the last AFCON tournament.

However, they will be facing a strong side in Nigeria on Tuesday, a nation they have only beaten once in seven meetings, losing four with two draws.

The last meeting between both teams was the only friendly match played between them, and Mali lost 1-0, with Kelechi Iheanacho scoring the only goal of the game.

Nigeria's Ademola Lookman celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on January 27, 2024© Reuters

Nigeria were also involved in an international friendly match on Friday, securing a 2-1 win over Ghana to ensure they went home with the bragging rights in the West African derby.

Super Eagles returnee Cyriel Dessers, netted the first goal of the game from the penalty spot to give Nigeria the lead in the first half.

Despite having a numerical advantage since the 56th minute when Jerome Opoku was sent off for Ghana, it was not until the 84th minute before Ademola Lookman doubled the lead for Nigeria. However, there was still time for Jordan Ayew to pull one back for the Black Stars from the penalty spot in stoppage time.

It was the Super Eagles' first game under interim coach, Finidi George, who is looking to improve the team's result in international friendlies, as they lost six of eight exhibition matches under immediate past coach Jose Peseiro.

Another victory over Mali on Tuesday will give the former winger a legitimate claim at the job permanently, with the Nigeria Football Federation currently going through applications for the role.

Mali friendly form:

Mali form (all competitions):

Nigeria friendly form:

Nigeria form (all competitions):

Team News

Mali's Lassine Sinayoko celebrates scoring their second goal with Falaye Sacko on January 16, 2024© Reuters

Mali gave several players their debuts against Mauritania, with Sagnan, Abdoulaye Diaby and Daouda Guindo all playing their first game for the country last time out.

Lassine Sinayoko, who was the country's leading scorer at the AFCON with three goals, is expected to start in attack once again.

For Nigeria, several changes are expected from the side that played from the start in the victory over Ghana.

Lookman and Umar Sadiq could replace Iheanacho and Dessers in attack from the start, while Fisayo-Dele Bashiru could also feature in midfield at some point.

In defence, Calvin Bassey is expected to return to the starting line up alongside Kenneth Omeruo.

Mali possible starting lineup:
Diarra; Sacko, Diaby, Sagnan, Guindo; Coulibaly, Samassekou, Haidara; Doumbia; Toure, Sinayoko

Nigeria possible starting lineup:
Nwabali; Ajayi, Omeruo, Bassey; Osayi-Samuel, Ndidi, Onyeka, Onyemaechi; Iwobi, Lookman; Umar

SM words green background

We say: Mali 1-2 Nigeria

Nigeria have a superior team going into this match, especially due to the fact that Mali are without some of their best legs. With the Super Eagles playing without pressure, we think they will edge this game due to their quality in front of goal.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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