Mali - Nigeria Betting Preview: Super Eagles can edge tight encounter

Stephen Keshi's men saw off the challenge of Ivory Coast in the last round and Willie Duncan is backing the Super Eagles to book their place in Sunday's final with a narrow win
Just four teams remain standing in this year’s African Cup of Nations and the semi-final stage begins when Mali meet Nigeria on Wednesday afternoon.

Mali, known as the Eagles, secured their place in the last four of the competition with a 3-1 penalty shoot-out victory over tournament hosts South Africa.

Patrice Carteron’s men are chalked up as a 14/5 (3.80) chance with Paddy Power to book their place in the final by beating Nigeria inside 90 minutes here while the same firm go 11/8 (2.38) that Mali qualify for the final.

Nigeria emerged from a difficult group to set up a quarter-final clash with pre-tournament favourites Ivory Coast and, having produced such an impressive performance against Sabri Lamouchi’s men, it is little surprise to see the Super Eagles chalked up as 11/10 (2.10) favourites with Paddy Power to win this game inside 90 minutes with the same firm offering just 1/2 (1.50) that Nigeria book their place in Sunday's final.

Paddy Power also offer an enticing 21/10 (3.10) for draw backers here.

With so much at stake, nerves are sure to be frayed and it comes as little surprise that Paddy Power offer just 4/9 (1.44) that fewer than three goals are scored here.

Incredibly, Mali have not managed more than one goal in any of their four matches at the tournament thus far while Nigeria have scored just six goals in four matches so it is hard to see the trend for low-scoring fixtures to be bucked in a match of such significance.

With such a tight match anticipated, the 5/6 (1.83) quote from Paddy Power for the match to be level at half time offers considerable appeal here while the 11/8 (2.38) on the 0-0 correct score at the halfway point looks to be terrific value.

Nigeria, though, should prove to be too strong for Mali over the course of 90 minutes and those seeking bigger prices should snap up Paddy Power’s 9/2 (5.50) quote for the Super Eagles to book their place in Sunday’s final with a 1-0 victory on Wednesday afternoon.

0-0 draw at half time at 11/8 (2.38) with Paddy Power
Nigeria to win 1-0 at 9/2 (5.50) with Paddy Power

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

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