Mali duo, Samba Diakite and Modibo Maiga, are racing against time to be fit for their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Group B day two clash with Ghana?s Black Stars on Thursday at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

The two midfielders were briefly involved in training last Monday and the team doctors are working tirelessly to get them to their best for the crucial game, the third Afcon meeting between the two teams within a year.

Both Samba and Maiga play for English clubs; Queens Park Rangers and West Ham United respectively, and are key performers for head coach Patrice Carteron.

While Samba made a second half appearance against Niger last Sunday, Maiga was an unused substitute as the Eagles picked the maximum points at the expense of the Mena thanks to a Seydou Keita goal to go two points clear at the top.

?We are waiting for them to be given the green-light to play. They are showing positive signs at training and we can only take a decision on them after Wednesday?s training,? said Carteron.

Victory for the Malians against the Black Stars will move them a step closer towards a place at the knockout stage.

The Eagles were bronze winners at the last edition in 2012 in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, beating the Black Stars 2-0 to claim the prize.

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