Ivory Coast Knock Out Defending Champions
Mali have never won a major trophy but have a reasonable route to the Africa Cup of Nations final. If they can defeat hosts Ivory Coast on Saturday, they’ll take on the winner of DR Congo and Guinea. Ivory Coast went just 1-2 in the group stage and fired their coach on the same day they qualified for the knockout stage as one of the top four third-placed teams. With caretaker manager Emerse Fae at the helm, they managed to knock out defending champions Senegal in penalties in the round of 16. We’ll see who has the better chance to advance to the Semifinal as we dive into the Mali vs Ivory Coast odds.
Mali vs Ivory Coast
Location: Stade de la Paix, Bouake, Ivory Coast
Streaming: Live Sports Stream
This is the first opportunity to bet on the Mali vs Ivory Coast odds since the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. In the round of 16, Ivory Coast took down Mali 1-0 as Wilfried Zaha scored the game’s only goal. Les Elephants have been an excellent soccer betting pick in this fixture historically. Ivory Coast hold a 19-9-4 record vs. Mali all-time. Plus, the Ivorians haven’t lost to Mali in a full senior international since 1983.
Mali Win Without Bissouma
Mali went unbeaten in the Africa Cup of Nations group stage, and they also went 5-1 in Africa Cup of Nations qualification. In their group stage opener, Mali took down South Africa 2-0 as captain Hamari Traore and Lassine Sinayoko got on the scoresheet. Sinayoko also scored in the subsequent 1-1 draw vs. Tunisia, and Mali also drew vs. Namibia 0-0 in their group stage finale.
Les Aigles went up against regional rivals Burkina Faso in the round of 16 and took the lead within three minutes. Sinayoko doubled the lead under two minutes into the second half, but Mali conceded a penalty in the 57th minute. After Bertrand Traore converted for Burkina Faso, Mali held on for a 2-1 win. Mali midfielder Yves Bissouma missed the match due to an injury.
Notably, Mali have lost just one of their last 18 matches, in all competitions. They narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which would have been their first appearance in the tournament. With players like Hamari Traore, Bissouma, Amadou Haidara and Mohamed Camara, this is one of the most talented generations Mali has ever had. Here, they’re looking for their first Semifinal appearance since 2013.
Ivory Coast Shake off Slow Start
After Ivory Coast’s 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau in their group stage opener, most thought it’d be business as usual for the hosts. Then, Ivory Coast proceeded to lose 1-0 to Nigeria and 4-0 to group winners Equatorial Guinea. Ivory Coast fired coach Jean-Louis Gasset after the loss to Equatorial Guinea due to “insufficient results.” On the same day, they narrowly qualified for the knockout stage and replaced Gasset with interim coach Emerse Fae.
Finishing third in Group A, Ivory Coast had to face Group C winners and defending champions Senegal in the round of 16. As +275 underdogs, the betting odds calculator gave Ivory Coast just a 26.7 percent chance of victory. Ivory Coast fell behind just four minutes into their match vs. Senegal, and things looked bleak until they won a late penalty.
Franck Kessie converted, and the match went into extra time. After a scoreless 30 minutes, Ivory Coast defeated Senegal in penalties 5-4, as Kessie scored the winning penalty. Even though Ivory Coast have won just one of their four matches so far, in 90 minutes, they have one of the most talented rosters in the competition. Odilon Kossounou and Evan Ndicka form one of the most formidable center back pairings in the competition. Kessie, Seko Fofana, and Ibrahim Sangare are also three of the best midfielders at AFCON.
Match Analysis & Odds
With their home fans behind them, it’s no surprise that Ivory Coast are +135 favorites for Saturday’s match. Ivory Coast have also been dominant vs. Mali historically, even if their form during this tournament has left a lot to be desired. Mali, who will come into the game feeling confident, are +225 underdogs and worthy opponents.
Here, the Mali vs Ivory Coast odds also list a draw at +200 odds. After a grueling 120 minutes on Monday, Les Elephants will want to take care of business in normal time. Still, Mali pk, +0.5 comes in at -115 odds as Les Aigles are expected to make this one a match. Prospective bettors should monitor Yves Bissouma’s status heading into the match as his return would give Mali a further boost.
Ivory Coast pk, -0.5 sits sits at -105 and it remains to be seen whether they’ll pick up where they left off on Monday. Knocking out the defending champions should provide Ivory Coast with a big confidence boost but they have looked quite vulnerable so far. In what’s expected to be a defensive battle, under two goals come in at -120 odds.