Mali vs Guinea prediction: U23 AFCON third-place match

Mali vs Guinea prediction: U23 AFCON third-place match
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Sparks will fly as Mali and Guinea draw swords on Friday evening. Both teams lost in the U23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-finals a couple of days ago, and they'll hope to redeem themselves with a victory here. Which of these outfits will reign supreme at the end of this match?

What's at stake for these teams?

We would like to point out that Mali and Guinea could've secured a place in the Summer Olympics in Paris next year, had they won in their respective semi-final matches. However, there's one automatic Olympic spot left, so bronze isn't the only thing these players have to fight for. Whoever wins this match will get to play in the Olympics next year, while the loser will feature in an intercontinental playoff game for a chance to play in Paris next year. That said, we should expect both teams to give everything they've got to win this match.

Prediction 1: Mali to win

To be fair, Guinea made it through to the knockout stages of this competition ahead of a solid team like Ghana. However, it's important to note that in four matches played so far, Guinea managed just one win. As a matter of fact, Guinea's only victory came against Congo; and considering Congo finished the tournament with zero points, perhaps it's not as impressive a win as we'd like to think.

Mali, on the other hand, had two wins in the group stages; they defeated a Niger team that had previously conceded no goals, and managed to hold their own against Morocco for 120 minutes. Bearing in mind that the Malians were a penalty shootout away from the final, we are leaning towards them for the victory.

Prediction 2: Both teams to score

Although Guinea have not won many games in this tournament, one thing they've done consistently is to concede goals. As a matter of fact, Guinea have not been able to keep a clean sheet at all in this competition. Conversely, Morlaye Cisse's boys found the back of the net in four of their last five matches in all competitions. We would like to point out that both teams were on the scoresheet in three of Guinea's four matches in this tournament. Considering Mali have seen their defense breached in three of their last four games, we should expect goals at both ends.

Prediction 3: over 3.5 total goals

Our final Mali vs Guinea prediction is on the over/under goals market. We've already established that these teams have not had too much trouble when it comes to conceding goals. With that in mind, it's no surprise that we're taking the over option for this match. It may interest you to know that Mali's last six matches in all competitions saw three goals scored per game on average, with four of those going above the 2.5 goal mark. All things considered, we are fairly confident that the goals will flow in this match.

This article was most recently revised and updated 11 months ago

Kelechi is a huge sports fan with over 10 years of betting experience. He has written thousands of match previews on football, tennis, basketball and American football in the past few years. Kelechi has worked with a few reputable brands like Afrik-Foot, Football Whispers, What Are The Odds and Pundit Feed.