Mali faces Central African Republic in an anticipated clash at Stade du 26 Mars, with Mali seeking their fourth consecutive win and Central African Republic looking for redemption after a disappointing start in the World Cup qualifiers.
Mali commenced their 2026 World Cup journey impressively, securing a commanding 3-1 victory against Chad.
Goals from Kamory Doumbia, Youssoufou Niakate, and Ibrahima Sissoko led Mali to their third consecutive win and marked their fifth victory in the last six games.
The team is entering the match with confidence, especially on home turf, having secured four successive wins at their stadium.
Central African Republic faced a tough challenge against Comoros, resulting in a 4-2 defeat in their previous fixture.
Despite initially taking the lead, they conceded four goals before netting a consolation. It marked their third consecutive loss following two consecutive victories.
Their away form, however, has been inconsistent, managing just one win in their last seven matches on the road.
Central African Republic’s Michael Yangao sustained an injury in their previous game against Comoros and might miss the upcoming clash. If Yangao remains unfit, Isaac Bomawoko could feature in the starting lineup.
Mali might consider incorporating Ibrahima Sissoko and Youssoufou Niakate into the starting XI following their impactful performances as substitutes in the last match.
Kamory Doumbia’s remarkable form, scoring four goals in five matches, positions him as a pivotal player for Mali in the upcoming encounter.
Traore, Kouyate, Niakate, Haidara;
Dieng, Doucoure, Camara, Sinayoko;
Central African Republic:(4-4-2)
Yapende, Ndobe, Guinari, Yangao;
Baboula, Kondogbia, Youga, Majouga;
Mali enters as favorites, aiming for a 2-1 victory. Their recent form and home advantage could prove decisive against Central African Republic, who need to improve their away record to secure a positive result.