Preview: Algeria vs. Mali – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s International Friendlies clash between Algeria and Mali, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

In the first of two international friendlies in the space of three days, Algeria face off against Mali at the Miloud Hadefi Olympic Complex on Wednesday.

With neither team featuring at this year’s World Cup, they will be looking to put on a show for their supporters, albeit in a less competitive environment.

Match preview

Algeria players pose for a team group photo before the match on January 11, 2022© Reuters

Algeria showed great fighting spirit to come out on top against the Qasioun Eagles of Syria on Sunday afternoon in a narrow 1-0 victory.

Djamel Belmadi‘s men opened the scoring in the 70th minute through Houssem Mrezigue and that was enough to get the job done in what turned out to be a tight affair.

As a result, the Fennec Foxes have now emerged victorious in each of their last 11 matches, while they are yet to taste defeat in 13 outings overall.

Coming up next is the challenge of an opposing outfit with four losses in the most recent five meetings between the teams, the most recent of which was a 4-0 demolition.

Following their dramatic heartbreak against Cameroon back in March, Wednesday’s hosts have been near perfect ever since and will be looking to continue in the same vein.

Mali came away red-faced from their clash against Algeria last time out, where they fell to a heavy defeat in a largely one-sided affair on October 29.

Abderrahmane Meziane broke the deadlock just shy of the half-hour mark after which further goals from Aymen Mahious, Akram Djahnit and Ahmed Kendouci sealed the deal.

That was Les Aigles’ first loss in eight matches since Eric Chelle‘s men came up short against Tunisia in the first leg of their World Cup qualifying tie.

Wednesday’s visitors now set out to round off 2022 in fitting style before the commencement of their African Nations Championship campaign in January.

Algeria International Friendlies form:

Algeria form (all competitions):

Mali International Friendlies form:

Mali form (all competitions):

Team News

Djamel Belmadi has named a strong 24-man squad for Algeria’s two friendlies, with the likes of Said Benrahma, Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani and Ismael Bennacer all making the cut.

Currently sitting five goals clear at the top of his nation’s all-time scoring chart, 34-year-old Slimani will be looking to deliver the goods once again.

Like his opposing number, Mali’s Eric Chelle has also opted for a strong crop of players headlined by Cheick Doucore, Sekou Koita and Amadou Haidara.

Since moving to Crystal Palace last summer, Doucoure has been a key performer in the middle of the park for his new employers, making him one to keep an eye on here.

Algeria possible starting lineup:
M’Bolhi; Bensebaini, Mandi, Touba, Atal; Bennacer, Zerrouki, Bentaleb; Mahrez, Slimani, Ounas

Mali possible starting lineup:
Diarra; Traore, Fofana, M. Haidara, Sacko; A. Haidara, Samassekou, Doucoure; Coulibaly, Koita, Kone

SM words green background

We say: Algeria 3-1 Mali

Despite nothing significant to play for in this one, we expect both sides to be fully up for the clash, which should give rise to an enthralling affair. That said, we fancy Algeria to come out on top as they boast the superior squad by a considerable margin.

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

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