Mali favourites in Botswana qualifier
Patrice Carteron’s Mali side is overwhelming favourites to progress into next year’s African Cup of Nations tournament with their 3-0 lead over Botswana coming into the second-leg of qualifiers.
The match will be held at the New Lobatse Stadium on Saturday afternoon with kick off set for 15h00 (CAT).
The Eagles utilised their home advantage in the first leg in Bamako with maximum output when they walked away with in impressive 3-0 victory over Botswana thanks to strikes from Cheick Diabate, Tenima Enday and Modibo Mariga.
The loss has left Botswana in the daunting position of having to fight for their lives in the qualifying rounds as they look to overturn the deficit in front of their home fans.
Extra motivation will be taken from the fact of having suffered elimination to the same party from the 2012 African Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, and the Zebras could be looking to this as a grudge match in which to take revenge.
However, it will be easier said than done for the 2012 AFCON debutants when they come up against a highly talented and determined side which has welcomed back the serves of Mohammed Sissoko.
The former Juventus player has returned to international action after featuring for just 62 minutes for Paris Saint-Germain following his return from a knee injury.
Returning for Stanley Tshosane’s side is Dirang Moloi, who will feature for the first time since refusing to take part in the tournament in January/February this year.
Botswana defied the odds in managing to qualify for this year’s tournament and they will be looking to take all the positives in their previous qualifiers in order to upend the Malian’s advantage.