It’s all to play for in Group E at the AFCON 2023 on Matchday 3. We look ahead to third against first with our Namibia vs Mali prediction and preview.
Namibia vs Mali: Pre-Match Facts
- According to the Opta supercomputer’s predictions, Mali have a 53.4% chance of victory in this game, compared to 23.6% for Namibia.
- This will be the first encounter between Namibia and Mali at the Africa Cup of Nations.
- The last meeting between the two sides came in an AFCON qualifier in November 2020 in Windhoek, with Mali winning 2-1. All three goals were scored in the first half.
- Namibia have lost eight of their 11 games at the Africa Cup of Nations. Having won one and lost one so far this year, they are aiming to avoid losing at least two games in every edition they’ve participated in to date.
- Mali are unbeaten in nine group stage games at the Africa Cup of Nations (W5 D4), losing just one of their last 15 such games (W5 D9).
- Namibia have kept just one clean sheet in their 11 AFCON matches to date (a 1-0 victory against Tunisia on Matchday 1 this year), conceding four or more goals in 45% of their games in the competition (5/11).
- Namibia are currently in third place in Group E on three points and are looking to progress to the knockout stage of the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time, in what is their fourth appearance at the tournament
- Mali have now progressed to the knockout stage in three consecutive AFCON appearances (reached the last 16 in 2019 and 2021), the first time since doing so in each of their first four participations at the tournament between 1972 and 2004.
- Across the first two matchdays of AFCON 2023, Namibia were one of three teams (along with DR Congo DR and Cape Verde) to make no changes to their starting eleven, using just 15 players in total, the fewest of any team.
- Kamory Doumbia has assisted two of Mali’s three goals so far at AFCON 2023 (both for Lassine Sinayoko); no Mali player has ever assisted three goals in a single edition of the tournament on record (since 2010).
- Namibia’s Peter Shalulile has attempted six shots (three on target) at AFCON 2023; across the first two matchdays only Algeria’s Youcef Belaïli (eight) had more shots without scoring in the competition.
Ghana’s dramatic draw with Mozambique on Monday took some of the jeopardy out of this game, with Mali now guaranteed a place in the knockout stage. They will still want to ensure top spot in Group E and Namibia will be hoping to secure their own place in the last 16.
It will be a big ask for Collin Benjamin’s men to win and leapfrog Mali in the group, with the Eagles unbeaten in nine group stage games at the Africa Cup of Nations (W5 D4), losing just one of their last 15 such games (W5 D9).
Mali followed up a 2-0 win over South Africa on Matchday 1 with a 1-1 draw against Tunisia. Their four points is enough to sit top of Group E heading into MD 3.
Kamory Doumbia has assisted two of Mali’s three goals so far at AFCON 2023 (both for Lassine Sinayoko). No Mali player has ever assisted three goals in a single edition of the tournament on record (since 2010).
Namibia have a good chance of joining Mali in the knockout stage, though a 4-0 hammering by South Africa damaged their goal difference on MD 2. It was hardly an ideal way to follow up their impressive 1-0 win over Tunisia in their first game.
Namibia’s Peter Shalulile will be hoping to have more luck in front of goal. He has attempted six shots (three on target) at AFCON 2023 across the first two matchdays, with only Algeria’s Youcef Belaïli (eight) having had more shots without scoring in the competition.
Namibia vs Mali Head-to-Head
This will be the first-ever meeting between Namibia and Mali at the Africa Cup of Nations.
The last meeting between the two came in an AFCON qualifier in November 2020 in Windhoek, with Mali winning 2-1 thanks to goals from Sékou Koïta and Moussa Doumbia. Mali had also beaten Namibia in the reverse fixture 1-0 just four days prior.
Namibia vs Mali Prediction
The Opta supercomputer believes Mali will cement their place at the top of Group E with a win. The Eagles have a 53.4% chance of victory, with Namibia given a 23.6% likelihood. The draw is rated at 23.0%.
In our pre-tournament predictions, Mali were given just a 3.7% chance of lifting the trophy. That has risen slightly, while they have a near one-in-four chance of reaching the semi-finals. Namibia are considered likelier to advance to the knockout stage than not.
Below are each team’s current, up-to-date chances of progression through AFCON 2023 according to the Opta supercomputer:
Namibia vs Mali Squads
Namibia: Edward Maova, Kamaijanda Ndisiro, Lloyd Kazapua, Ivan Kamberipa, Denzil Haoseb, Ryan Nyambe, Kennedy Amutenya, Riaan Hanamub, Lubeni Haukongo, Charles Hambira, Aprocius Petrus, Joslin Kamatuka, Petrus Shitembi, Deon Hotto, Ngero Katua, Ananias Gebhardt, Absalom Iimbondi, Marcell Papama, Bethuel Muzeu, Peter Shalulile, Prins Tjiueza, Wendell Rudath, Uetuuru Kambato.
Coach: Collin Benjamin
Mali: Djigui Diarra, Aboubacar Doumbia, Ismaël Diawara, Mamadou Fofana I, Kiki Kouyaté, Sikou Niakaté, Hamari Traoré, Amadou Danté, Falaye Sacko, Moussa Diarra, Lassana Coulibaly, Adama Traoré, Yves Bissouma, Amadou Haidara, Aliou Dieng, Diadié Samassékou, Kamory Doumbia, Boubacar Traoré, Mohamed Camara, Moussa Doumbia, Sékou Koïta, Fousseni Diabaté, Ibrahim Sissoko, Lassine Sinayoko, Siriné Doucouré, Youssoufou Niakaté, Nene Dorgeles.
Coach: Éric Chelle