Mali v Ivory Coast preview
Drogba and Toure aim to inspire the Elephants again
Last Updated: February 8, 2012 11:05am
Drogba: Leading Elephants attack
Ivory Coast will be looking to maintain their 100% run in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and book their place in the final when they meet Mali on Wednesday evening.
The Elephants won all three of their Group B matches before booking their place in the semi-finals with a comfortable 3-0 victory over co-hosts Equatorial Guinea in the last eight at the weekend.
Mali have had a tougher time of securing their semi-final spot and only qualified for the first knockout round on the final day of Group D encounters after beating debutants Botswana while Ghana held Guinea.
Alain Giresse's men also needed a 5-4 penalty shoot-out victory over co-hosts Gabon to book their place in the semis, and the Ivory Coast may prove one test too many for them.
On the team front, Ivory Coast will once more be relying on talismanic striker Didier Drogba to bang home the goals, with the forward's brace against Nzalang Nacional marking his 53rd and 54th international strikes.
Meanwhile, Drogba's Chelsea team-mate Salomon Kalou and Arsenal ace Gervinho are also likely to start, while African Player of the Year Yaya Toure will continue pulling the strings in the middle of the park.
Mali, meanwhile, will be resting their hopes on the shoulders of Barcelona superstar Seydou Keita, who slotted home the decisive penalty in their quarter-final win over Gabon.
Africa Cup of Nations Group A
Africa Cup of Nations Group B
Africa Cup of Nations Group C
Africa Cup of Nations Group D