Qualifying for the African World Cup kicks off this week as only one team from each of the respective groups will reach the final in Qatar. Mali welcomes Rwanda for a game in Group E on Wednesday.
Preview World Cup Qualifiers
Group E appears to be the most open of all the World Cup qualifiers in Africa, with all countries believing they have a realistic chance of reaching the final next year. Mali will try to get their campaign off to the best possible start on Wednesday evening, when they welcome Rwanda. As is typically the case with group stage matches, the home matches have to be won by the respective clubs to have any chance of surpassing the group. Mali is not in the best form in this match as they have only won once in the last five matches. That win was a 3-0 win over Chad in late March. Since then, they have been winless in three games, including defeats to Algeria and Tunisia. Mali also lost in the final of the African Nations Championship in early February, something they will have to overcome.
Rwanda is getting on the road in excellent form in this competition as they have taken back-to-back wins in their last two matches. They have scored a total of seven goals in the two games against the Central African Republic, while they would also have been encouraged by a 0-0 draw against Cameroon in the final game of their Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign. It could be an important week or so in their challenge to qualify for the World Cup, as they take on Mali and then Kenya. Positive results from these matches would put them in an extremely solid position.
Mali vs Rwanda Head to Head
Encounters between these two countries are very rare, as they had collided only twice before. Those encounters formed the qualification for the 2014 World Cup, with Mali winning the game away from home before drawing 1-1 in the second game.
Mali vs Rwanda Prediction
Rwanda has shown very exciting form in recent months and that could give them the best possible chance to start the qualifying campaign with a win. It could be a famous match for them as they can win for the first time against Mali on Wednesday.
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