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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group D - Ghana

Nickname – The Black Stars

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

Even though Ghana was the first team to qualify for the World Cup after the Hosts South Africa, they had a tough round two in a group where they were almost knocked-out. Although they finished top that happened levelled with Gabon and Libya and if wasn’t for the goals against underdogs Lesotho they would have crashed out. Advancing to the final qualifying round they met Benin, Mali and Sudan and finished top with 13 points and they have a lot to thank to their most active goalscorer Matthew Amoah with 5 goals.

H2H

Jun 13 Pretoria Serbia v Ghana - Ghana never played against Serbia. But if you head back to 1997 Yugoslavia defeated Ghana 3-1 in an international friendly.

Jun 19 Rustenburg Ghana v Australia - Australia won 4, drew 1 and lost once against Ghana. Last 3 matches the Aussies have been undefeated.

Jun 23 Johannesburg Ghana v Germany - Germany trashed Ghana 6-1 in their only match played back in 1993.

Goalkeepers: Richard Kingson (Wigan), Daniel Agyei (Liberty Professionals), Stephen Ahorlu (Hearts of Lions)

Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (FC Basel), Jonathan Mensah (Grenada), Lee Addy (Bechem Chelsea), Rahim Ayew (Zamalek), Hans Sarpei (Bayer Leverkusen), John Mensah (Sunderland), Isaac Vorsah (Hoffenheim), John Paintsil (Fulham)

Midfielders: Sulley Muntari (Inter Milan), Derek Boateng (Getafe), Anthony Annan (Rosenborg), Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese), Andre Ayew (Arles-Avignon), Stephen Appiah (Bologna), Quincy Owusu Abeyie (Al Sadd), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Portsmouth)

Strikers: Matthew Amoah (NAC Breda) Asamoah Gyan (Rennes), Prince Tagoe (Hoffenheim), Dominic Adiyiah (AC Milan)

FORMATION

Milovan Rajevac like to play in a packed midfield formation of 4-5-1. Kingson; Sarpei, Paintsil, Mensah, Inkoom; Muntari, Essien, Boateng, Stephen Appiah; Amoah, Asamoah Gyan.

BEST PLAYERS

Michael Essien is one of the finest all-around midfielders in the modern game and according to Rajevic’s defensive approach to the game Essien is indispensable to fuel Ghana’s machine. He is fearless when it comes down to tackling, he is a voice of command in both Ghana and Chelsea and the reason why he is an all-around top midfielder is cause he can defend as much as he can attack. He can play at any position making him very import in other player’s absence. Even though he has been most of the season injured he had 26 matches with 5 goals and 1 assist.

Stephen Appiah plays for Bologna and despite being approaching his 30s he is in demand due to his impressive strength, stamina, pace and high work-rate levels that are deep-rooted in Ghana’s profile of a player. The major concern about Appiah is that he is regarded as a highly injury-prone player.

SURPRISE

The injury blow of Chelsea’s Michael Essien that will reduce severally the chances of Ghana.

STATEMENTS

"This team is very hungry to play in the finals again. My players are aware of what they can achieve, and we have the quality to go far. I am very confident about the future," Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac.

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- Milovan Rajevac –

Career made of 23 matches with 39% Win, 26% Draw, 35% Loss, GS 1,13 GA 0,96

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strength – Their stamina, strength, pace and work-rate levels are second to none. Rajeva’c enforced a defensive mentality to a nation that was much more often playing on freedom and attacking bias and he got results out of it strengthen Ghana’s and make them much more cohesive.

Weaknesses – His top midfielders lack fitness. Appiah has not been solid with a team since 2008 even though he keeps doing his thing with the national team. Essien has been injured since last December and hopes to get fit to emblematize Ghana’s spirit.

Ghana’s lack of decent strikers will make the midfielders work harder than they already do.

Having only won 3 of the last 10 matches in their recent run of results and having not beaten their group’s opponents in their encounters.

Opportunities – If they can beat the odds and history their can turn their last defeats into a power drive winning matches. They look stronger than Australia and Serbia. Marking well Cahill will defeat Australia and in regards to Serbia, if they press high up in the Balkan’s midfield there will be opportunity to take something out of that game enough to advance to the second round. Playing first 2 matches at a higher pace and case obtaining good results they will be able to rest in the last match preparing the second round straight away.

Threats – First match against Serbia’s offensive line that will really determine Ghana’s fate in the world cup

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FIFA WORLD RANKINGS

Number 32 of the world rankings ahead of Denmark, Slovakia and Honduras and behind of Algeria, Paraguay and Ivory Coast.

ACHIEVEMENTS

4 African Cup of Nations – 1963, 1965, 1978, 1982;

CASTROL INDEX


LATEST 10 MATCHES

Ghana 2 2 Mali

Angola 0 0 Ghana

Ghana 0 0 Malawi

Ghana NP Togo

Ivory Coast 3 1 Ghana

Burkina Faso 0 1 Ghana

Angola 0 1 Ghana

Ghana 1 0 Nigeria

Ghana 0 1 Egypt

Bosnia 2 1 Ghana

Netherlands 4 1 Ghana

Ghana 1 0 Latvia


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