AFCON Fantasy is here and the FPL Manual shares his thoughts on Mali’s national football team, their best players to consider, and the predicted XI for the Africa Cup of Nations 2024.
- Name – Mali
- Nickname – Les Aigles (The Eagles)
- Current World ranking – 51st (9th in Africa)
The Eagles have never won the Africa Cup of Nations. However, their best result at the tournament was finishing as runners-up in 1972.
AFCON 2021 Review
Despite securing the third position in Group F to qualify, the Carthage Eagles surprised many by defeating then Group D leaders, Nigeria in the Round of 16. Unfortunately, their hard work came undone in the quarterfinals when they faced Burkina Faso.
Mali’s Road to AFCON
On June 18th, 2023, The Eagles secured their ticket for a 13th AFCON appearance in Cote D’Ivoire. Mali finished as Group leaders in then Group G with 15 points, they had five wins and just one defeat, scoring 15 goals and conceding only two goals.
Mali’s Top AFCON Qualifier Performers
Mali’s Top Scorers:
- M Camara, K Doumbia – 3 goals
- El Bilal Toure, Ibrahima Kone, Nene Dorgeles – 2 goals
- K Coulibaly, A Dieng, Adama Traore – 1 goal each
Mali Team News
Below is the Official 27 man squad list representing the Eagles at Cote D’ivoire for AFCON:
— FEMAFOOT (@femafoot) January 2, 2024
Missing key player: Ibrahima Kone ❌
“Ibrahima Koné has suffered a fracture combined with a dislocation and sprain. An explosive cocktail. AFCON over!”
Mali will be without Kone this AFCON after he got injured in a friendly against Uganda last October.
A star is born ⭐️
The name Kamory Doumbia has been ringing in my ear for a while but this is only thanks to his consistency for club and country. The 20-year-old scored three goals for the Eagles during the Qualifiers and is currently on a strong league form in the Ligue 1.
Style of play
The Eagles tend to prefer a high-press style of play in and out of possession, pushing their opponents to be uncomfortable for 90 minutes until they break and lose the ball. The hunger never ends till the final whistle is blown. In case you missed it, in preparation ahead of the AFCON 2023 preparations Mali got a 6-2 win in a friendly match against Guinea-Bissau. Goal-scorers:
- Youssouf Niakaté ⚽️
- Kamory Doumbia⚽️
- Lassana Coulibaly⚽️
- Falaye Sacko⚽️
- Néné Dorgeles ⚽️⚽️
Mali Probable Lineup AFCON 2024
Mali’s head coach Éric Chelle is very straightforward and mostly uses the 4-3-3 formation (on paper) but when in transition, it tends to change into a narrow 4-3-1-2 formation. Here’s how Mali could lineup for AFCON 2023:
Before I reel out the fantasy picks, I would like to answer a few questions. For example, who is on penalties? We don’t know for sure, as the last pen taken was by Lassine Sinayoko is not a regular on the team. Koita might be the next taker (5/6 for Club) according to @FPL_Maxime.
Is Sikou Niakate nailed? No. Not at all the 4m defender has only made three caps for his country and only got one start during the qualifier. Sikou Niakate is far from nailed and I don’t know who started that rumor he ever was but they should be flogged, just kidding.
Best Mali AFCON Fantasy Players
K Doumbia 6m, Y Bissouma 5.5m, S Koita 6m, H Traore 5m
F Sacko 4.5m, S Niakate 4m, L Sinayoko 5m
Still not certain who makes the #1 goalie but Diawara made more caps during the AFCON qualifiers, so I believe it’s him.
Mali may not have the most formidable team like others do but their cohesion, team spirit, and style of play are quite unique and this will make them stand out. Starting Group E against South Africa, K Doumbia & Hamari Traore are my top two assets to target going forward.
Just a little review/extra note: Massadio Haidara is not in the final squad, Moussa Diarra (4m) the LB might be a regular as he started the recent friendly but Amadou Dante (4m) made more caps during the AFCON qualifiers. Watch this space carefully.
You can find additional AFCON 2024 Fantasy resources here.
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