West African rivals Ghana and Mali face off in a key Africa Cup of Nations Group B clash on Thursday.
Mali coach Patrice Carteron is wary of a team he considers one of the main contenders in South Africa.
“For me, tomorrow’s game is against one of the big favourites for the tournament,” he said.
“A few days ago, I made a really positive comparison (of Ghana) with the Germany side of the 80s. In every tournament, you knew that Germany would be in the quarter-finals. I think its part of the culture, Ghanaians work hard, they’ve got a mindset that helps them to be consistent.
“It’s going to be a fantastic game, a historic game, because even though Mali showed lately that it can raise its level, Mali has rarely beaten a great football country. Now we are getting closer to that.”
Mali sit on top of the group after a 1-0 win over Niger and will remember their victory over Ghana in last year’s Africa Cup of Nations play-off for third place.
Ghana are desperate for a first win in their campaign, after a disappointing draw with the Democratic Republic of Congo in their opening tie.
Ghana had established a two-goal lead in that fixture, but let their opponents come back to end the game 2-2.
Captain Asamoah Gyan could return for Ghana from injury, while Mali will be looking to former Barcelona player Seydou Keita to make an impact in what could be one of the most explosive matches in the tournament so far.
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