Gambia intensified its warm up ahead of the Ivory Coast duel with a slender win over domestic club Steve Biko.
With the Scorpions unable to conduct friendly international matches, Italian coach Mancini has been forced to resort to planning test games with local teams in the Gambia top division.
Mancini and his charges were made to sweat for a win against 'Giant Killers' of Bakau Steve Biko in a game played at the goal project in Yundum yesterday.
Modou Conteh and Ebou Kanteh accounted for the two goals before Omar Sarr rounded the final score for the local-based Scorpions. Musa Bojang and saikou Conteh each slotted home a goal but it proved a mere consolation.
The local based Scorpions conceding two goals suggests a lacklustre defending from the Gambian side.
Two friendly matches were proposed by the GFA technical team but the absence of Omar Sey and Alagie OB Conateh - top brasses at the football headquarters -meant talks of international test matches for January stalled.
Gambia takes on Ivory Coast and with preparation for a test match looking evasive in the wakes of the duo's no-show last month, means Mancini's side will be short of international competition and instincts of beating the elephants looks much of a mammoth task.