On Tuesday (January 30), Mali and Burkina Faso will face off in the Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 at Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium.
This will be the second time the neighbouring West African teams will face each other in the AFCON. The first time was during the 2004 edition.
Mali and Burkina Faso have received local support more than any other teams in 2024, except hosts Cote D’Ivoire, where many of their fans reside.
Mali has won seven out of eight clashes against Burkina Faso, who have only managed one draw. However, Burkina Faso looks motivated and could upset their old foes.
Burkina Faso finished second in Group D with four points, behind leaders Angola, who had a near-flawless run with seven points.
In contrast, Mali finished unbeaten in the group stage, but Burkina Faso’s defensive weaknesses were exposed in their last group game, where they lost 2-0 against Angola.
Les Etalons are expected to fix their defensive issues to avoid a similar fate. While Mali is a pacy side that mostly attacks through the flanks, Burkina Faso’s talisman Bertrand Traore, formerly of Chelsea, could come to their rescue.