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Starting XI: Mali v Nigeria

African Nations Championship

Teams: Mali v Nigeria

Date: 11 January 2014

Venue: Cape Town Stadium

Mali will hope to get the better of Nigeria in their opening Group A encounter at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening.

Mali will be making their second appearance in the competition, after competing in Sudan back in 2011.

The Malian Eagles will be looking to the likes of Goalkeeper Soumbeila Diakate, who has notched up 34 caps for his country, as well Adama Traore and Ousmane Keita.

Nigeria will be making their debut in the tournament after failing to qualify for the previous two tournaments.

Stephen Keshi can rely on the likes of Azubuike Egwuekwe, Solomon Kwambe and Benjiman Francis, who have all been capped by Nigeria at senior level.

While striker Ejike Uzoenyi, who was part of the Super Eagles African Cup of Nations winning squad, will look to get amongst the goals for the West African side. 

However, Keshi was dealt a blow when influential midfielder Sunday Mba and U17 World Cup star Kelechi Iheanacho both left the Nigerian training camp to pursuit deals in Europe, which automatically ruled them out for selection.

This is how they line up:

Mali:  Souleymane Konate, Ibourahima Sidibe, Ousmane Keita, Mahamadou Traore, Abdoulaye Sissoko, Cheick Doumbia, Lassana Diarra, Adama Traore, Issaka Samake, Soumalia Diakite, Yaya Samake

Nigeria: Chigoze Agbim, Solomon Kwambe, Benjamin Francis, Uzochukwu Ugonna, Odunlami Kunle, Egwuekwe Azubuike, Ejike Uzoenyi, Ali Rabiu, Ibrahim Abubakar, Hillary, Ede Ifeanyi

Impressive Mali Down Nigeria

Starting XI: Mali v Nigeria

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