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manor15

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Aug 13, 2008
Messages
8,167
Ghana

Manager: Milovan Rajevac
Captain: Stephen Appiah
FIFA Ranking: 32
Group D

Background: The West Africans shocked the World in Germany 2006 as they became the only African nation to reach the last 16, despite an opening game defeat to eventual victors Italy. However, a 2-0 victory over te Czech Republic and a 2-1 victory against the USA saw them through to the last 16, where Brazil, and Ronaldo, humiliated the Africans with a 3-0 victory. The Ghanians were the most impressive team heading South from the African Cup of Nations, losing 1-0 to Egypt in the semi-finals. However, due to many injuries, Angola 2010 saw the rejuvenation of the Ghanian team; using many players from their U20 World Cup win in 2009.

Qualification: The first African team to qualify for the first World Cup to be held in Africa, which also guaranteed them qualification for the 2010 African Cup of Nations. Four opening victories were barely challenging and had some unconvincing moments but saw the Ghanians prove 2-0 victors over Male and Sudan twice, as well as eating Benin 1-0. However, after securing qualification results slipped; a 0-1 defeat to Benin and a shakey 2-2 draw with Mali gave Milovan Rajevac questions to answer.

The Team
Strengths: Four clean sheets out of six qualifying isn't easy. They also have strength in depth defensively; Sammy Inkoom likely to start ahead of Fulham's John Pantsil, if Sunderland's John Mensah isn't match fit then David Addy and Isaac Vorsah can continue a fine defensive partneship. Elsewhere, Asamoah Gyan, the lone frontman, is returning to form after a poor African Cup of Nations with a goal every other international game.
Weaknesses: However, Gyan is well known as a player who fails to produce on the big stage, a poor African Cup of Nations looks better on paper, three goals in five games, two lucky tap-ins and a penalty. Even more worryingly Gyan's goals made up three of Ghana's four goals in five games in Angola. Only three players in their side carrying a arge attacking threat and one of these is Sulley Muntari who is lacking the sharpness many players get from starting games every week.
The Manager: Milovan Rajevac was a shock replacement for Claude Leroy in 2008. The Serbs greatest achievement before taking the Ghana job was leading a Serbian Second Division side to promotion and a brief caretaker spell at Red Star Belgrade during what is labelled by fans as the "Dark Nineties". However, the 55 year old is technically and tactically astute and alongside Carlos Alberto Parreira and Sven Goran Eriksson has brought a new wave of tactical intelligence to African football.

Star Men: Richard Kingson (Unattached, ex-Wigan)
Wigan's number two keeper, and Ghana's number 22 is one of the most consistent keepers heading to this summers World Cup. Don't let his shirt number fool you; Kingson is by far Ghana's number one and will be looking to continue his fine form that saw him concede just four goals in five games in Angola earlier this year. 75 caps, 73 more than Daniel Adjei, the second choice keeper, and one goal, a last minute equailser in Milovan Rajevac's first game in charge of Ghana, against Tanzania.
Sulley Muntari (Inter Milan)
The ex-Portsmouth player has made 52 appearances for his international side, scroing fifteen goals in the process. With Michael Essien ruled out due to a persistent knee injury the pressure will be on Muntari not only to play the role of the ball winning midfielder but also to get forward and support Gyan and winger Kwadwo Asamoah. The main question over Muntari will be whether he can keep his cool: a short temper after a frustrating season where he mainly made an impact at Inter Milan as a sub, could see him lose his cool if pushed.

manor15's Prediction
Group Stages. A young and inexperienced side; South Africa 2010 maybe a year or two too early for this Ghana side, particularly without the experience and skill of Michael Essien. Group D will also see a tough fight for second place and while Ghana, as arguably one of the strongest African nations, will run eventual second place close, it may prove a big ask for Ghana, particularly lacking the goals that the likes of Serbia and Germany have.
 
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