Mali will field its best team against Chad this weekend in Bamako, as the second phase of the joint 2010 African Cup of Nations/World Cup qualifiers wrap up across the continent, national coach Stephen Keshi has said.
Keshi will have in the team his top scorer, Frederic Omar Kanoute, and powerful defender Cedric Kante, both of whom were absent during the last match due to injury.
Their return is expected to give the team the bite and defence it lacked during its last match, which it lost 1-0 to Congo’s Red Devils in Brazzaville.
Five of the 11 goals scored by Mali so far in the qualifiers came from Kanoute, who plays professionally with FC Seville in the Spanish League.
Mali shares the lead (on 9 points) in group 10 with Congo, which will be visiting the already eliminated Sudan this weekend.
A victory for Mali and a defeat for Congo in Khartoum will mean an automatic qualification of the Eagles for the third round of the qualifiers.