Our prediction for this Africa Cup of Nations 2019 match:
Ivory Coast will be looking to build on a thrilling 4-1 win over Namibia when they take on Mali at New Suez Stadium on Monday evening. The Elephants quickly bounced back from a 1-0 loss to Morocco, but they face yet another difficult task against les Aigles. Wilfried Zaha opened his goal-scoring account in the 4-1 victory over Namibia and, no doubt, all eyes will be on the Premier League ace when Ivory Coast face Mali in the last 16 of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Les Aigles have been producing fine performances at the tournament in Egypt, beating Mauritania (4-1) and Angola (1-0), while sharing the spoils with Tunisia (1-1) to set up a meeting with the Elephants. Given their splendid form, we believe that Mali are capable of holding Ivory Coast to a draw in 90 minutes. A man to watch in Mohamed Magassouba’s team will be Porto attacker Moussa Marega.
Highlighted Player (Adama Traore):
After starting his youth career at Hospitalet, Adama Traore moved to Barcelona football academy La Masia in 2004. The pacey winger made a great progress during his spell with the Catalan giants and it has to be noted that he scored eight goals in 63 appearances for Barca B.
Adama Traore made his debut for the first team against Granada (4-0) on November 23, 2013, replacing Brazilian superstar Neymar in the 83rd minute of the match. In the summer of 2015, he signed for Aston Villa for a fee of £7 million, but he made no more than 11 appearances in the Premier League for the Vilans. At the end of the 2015/2016 season he moved to fellow English club Middlesbrough and he made his debut for the Boro in a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace on September 10, 2016.
Due to his dual citizenship, Adama Traore is eligible to represent Spain and Mali at senior level, but it has to be noted that he played for youth categories of La Roja.
Highlighted Team (Ivory Coast):
Over the years Ivory Coast have established themselves as one of the best African teams. The Elephants won their second Africa Cup of Nations trophy in 2015, with the team beating Ghana in the final of the tournament. Ivory Coast defeated the Black Stars on penalties and it has to be noted that goalkeeper Boubacar Barry scored the winner.
A number of high-profile footballers played (or play) for the Ivory Coast national team, but, no doubt, the most notable players are Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, Salomon Kalou and Gervinho. Ivory Coast are well known for their orange kit, but they play their away games in green shirts and green shorts. Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny is regarded as the team’s home stadium.
Didier Zokora is the player with the most caps for the Ivory Coast national team (123), while aforementioned attacker Didier Drogba is the team’s top scorer (65 goals). Drogba is the symbol of the Ivory Coast football and the former Chelsea man played for the national team from 2002 to 2014.