Nigeria coach Salisu Yusuf is confident his troops can dispatch Mali ahead of their WAFU Cup clash on Thursday.
The Eagles beat Sierra Leone 3-1 on Monday to set-up an enthralling fixture against their Malian counterpart in Cape Coast.
Coach Yusuf watched Mali beat Mauritania and he said he was impressed with their size, strength, and aggression, but he believes his team will use their intelligence to go past the Eagles of Bamako.
“We watched Mali beat Mauritania before our own game against Sierra Leone. They have some tall, big players especially in the defence, they are also well organised and are aggressive,” he told reporters.
“But I expect my team to use their intelligence to outwit them.
“It won’t be an easy game but we are now a lot more settled after how we rushed in for the game against a very confident Sierra Leone team, who wanted to shock us.
“We have since had two pieces of training and that will help us against Mali.”
Yusuf was forced to rely on the core of the CHAN Eagles for the playoff against Sierra Leone because his squad to the WAFU Cup had not trained together before they departed for Ghana.
“I have had some time to look at the other players here with us and we will see how they fit in for our subsequent matches,” he told Reporters.
“The important thing is that we are preparing for CHAN next year in earnest.”
Friday Ubong and Peter Eneji, who were not part of the CHAN qualifiers, were introduced in the second half against Sierra Leone with Eneji from champions Plateau United catching the eye with a well-taken goal and great drive on the left side of the attack.