Preview: Mali vs. Kenya

Preview: Mali vs. Kenya

Mali and Kenya meet on Thursday evening with the two nations sitting at the top of their African World Cup qualification group.

The home side hold a two-point advantage heading into the third game of Group E, putting the pressure on their opponents to avoid defeat in Agadir.

Given the players at their disposal, Mali should really be making light work of a group which also features Uganda and Rwanda.

However, Mohamed Magassouba’s side were limited to just one goal during their opening double-header, Adama Traore’s early strike proving to be the difference against the latter of those nations.

Holding a two-point lead after two games, Magassouba will only be thinking positively ahead of two fixtures against Kenya which may ultimately decide who progresses through to the final 10.

Nevertheless, a certain level of pressure remains on the shoulders of the Eagles, who have now scored just twice in their last five fixtures.

The flipside to that is just three strikes have been conceded in six outings, a statistic which highlights the size of the task facing Kenya.

The Harambee Stars have put together a six-match unbeaten streak in all competitions, an impressive feat when considering that run of games included a meeting with Egypt.

However, Kenya simply do not score enough goals, and you have to go all the way back to June 2019 for the last time that they netted more than twice in a game.

Engin Firat will insist that their performance in the final third will not necessarily dictate whether they finish ahead of Mali next month.

That said, this is a group of players who are heavily reliant on Hassan Abdallah and Michael Olunga, something which needs to change going forward.

Mali World Cup Qualifying – Africa form:
WD
Mali form (all competitions):
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Kenya World Cup Qualifying – Africa form:
DD
Kenya form (all competitions):
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We say: Mali 1-0 Kenya
If their recent form is anything to go by, there should not be many goals in this fixture. Nevertheless, we cannot see Kenya making much of a dent in their hosts, leading us to predict a narrow victory for Mali.

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