Tunisia, who will make their 15th consecutive appearance in the competition, aims to start on a winning note as they take on Mali at the Limbe Omni sports Stadium on Wednesday.
The Eagles of Carthage have won the tournament just once, in 2004, where they happened to be the hosts.
Mali, in comparison, will be registering their eighth consecutive appearance in the AFCON and will hope to better their round of 16 finish in the 2021 edition.
Game to end in a draw
Both teams possess good players who will be expected to come up big in the encounter. For Tunisia, they have the dependable Khazri to look up to for the goals whilst Mali has Brighton’s Bissouma in their ranks.
Sliti was a dangerous man in the previous tournament and will still aim to instill fear in his opponents for this moment also. Haidara, who plays in midfield for Mali, will be another prospect to watch.
There will certainly be goals in this one but separating the two sides will be difficult, as there is real quality on both ends.
Betway tips Tunisia as slight favorites to win the game, as their odds have been priced at 2.50, whilst that of Mali has been pinned at 3.30 and a draw priced at 2.70.
Tunisia predicted XI: Mustapha, Drager, Bronn, Talbi, Maaloul, Slimane, Skhiri, Majbri, Sliti, Khazri, Msakni
Mali predicted XI: Mounkoro, Traore, Kouyate, Sacko, Traore, Camara, Bissouma, Djenepo, Haidara, Traore, Kone
Tunisia v Mali head-to-head
15th June 2021: Tunisia 1-0 Mali (International Friendly)
28th June 2019: Tunisia 1-1 Mali (Africa Cup of Nations)
31st January 2016: Tunisia 1-2 Mali (African Nations Championship)
10th August 2011: Tunisia 4-2 Mali (International Friendly)
16th August 2006: Mali 1-0 Tunisia (International Friendly)
Battles between the two teams have been generally tight, with both Tunisia and Mali winning two games each. They will hope to settle this on the pitch on Wednesday.