Kick-off: 1300, 12/01/2022
Stadium: Limbe Stadium
TV: Sky Sports
Tunisia and Mali drew 1-1 during the pool stage of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 and are backed to share the spoils again in Cameroon.
With Gambia and Mauritania expected to merely make up the numbers in Group F, another stalemate would almost certainly suit both sides.
Punters can get 2.9 for a draw and that is rated good value for our first Tunisia vs Mali prediction.
Tunisia finished fourth at this event in 2019 after three group-stage draws and had previously risen to as high as 14 in the FIFA rankings when far from disgraced at the last World Cup.
They enjoyed a successful 2021, winning their Qatar 2022 pool and reaching the final of December’s Arab Cup in Qatar.
The Eagles of Carthage beat Egypt in the semis of that competition and only lost out in extra-time against Algeria in the decider.
Some interesting youngsters are coming through, including Manchester United teenager Hannibal Mejbri.
Head coach Mondher Kebaier can also call on a number of proven performers, though, particular up front with Wahbi Khazri, Youssef Msakni and Naim Sliti.
That trio have just over 200 caps and 48 international goals between them but are all still young enough to impress at this level.
Khazri scored against Belgium and Panama at Russia 2018 and struck when these teams drew in Egypt at AFCON 2019.
He has netted seven times in Ligue 1 for St Etienne this term and is tipped to break the deadlock here at 6.5 in our Tunisia vs Mali betting tips.
Mali were a touch unlucky to meet Ivory Coast at the last-16 stage after impressing as pool winners three years ago but are back with another solid squad.
Almost all of their players are attached to decent European clubs, including Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma and Southampton winger Moussa Djenepo.
A lack of star names with the experience of playing in big games is a little worrying, but Les Aigles are very much a team on the rise.
Kalifa Coulibaly has been a good servant for Nantes in France and stands out as one of the more established figures.
Ibrahima Kone could be the one to watch out for up front, though, as the 22-year-old has been making a name for himself with Sarpsborg in Norway.
Plenty of bigger clubs will be monitoring his progress at this event and 6.25 for a 1-1 scoreline.
TUNISIA 0-2 Algeria (AET)
MALI 1-0 Uganda – Kalifa Coulibaly
Head-to-head: Tunisia 1-0 Mali, Tunisia 1-1 Mali, Tunisia 1-2 Mali, Tunisia 4-2 Mali
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