The first set of matches in the ongoing African Cup of Nations were highly competitive amongst the teams in each group. In Group C, the group table have already started to take shape after results of the first matches played. Gabon leads the table with 3 points, followed by Morocco which places second on the log with also 3 points. Comoros and Ghana places 3rd and 4th respectively with no points after losing their first game.
Here, we would take a look at the preview of the match between Gabon and Ghana as they battle each other in the second group stage match.
Gabon will be looking forward for a similar results when they secured an emphatic three points last Monday when they came up against debutants Comoros. It was a hard-fought victory for the panthers against Comoros, thanks to Aaron Boupendza’s strike.
For the Black Stars who are four time champions, their aim is to secure all three points in this game after suffering a disappointing results against Morocco last Monday. This encounter could possibly propel Gabon into the next stage of the competition if they beat Ghana.
However, it’s all or nothing for Ghana as they need a crucial win to stand a chance to qualify to the round 16th stage of the competition.
WHEN AND WHERE?
Venue: Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium (Rabit City)
Date: Friday, 14th January 2022
Time: 19:00 BST
Covid-19 related issues will be a setback once again for Pierre-Emerick Aubamenyang and Mario Lemina to feature in this game. All other players at the camp base of the Gabon National team are all ready and looking forward to help their team win against Ghana.
There is an overwhelming idea that the arrival of Ajax Star Mohammed Kudus will change the dynamics of the team and will improve Ghana’s chances of qualifying to the next stage of the competition. It is being reported that, there have been some conversations between Ghana FA and Ajax which has resulted into a positive news. Kudus is expected to be in camp this week.
Also, fears about the head injury captain Andre Ayew sustained during the match between Ghana and the Atlas Lions of Morocco should not be a concern anymore as the player is fully fit to participate in this showpiece.
Right back Philemon Baffour has also been seen training with the team in their camp base.
Looking at the first game Gabon played, the panthers didn’t see much possession against debutants Comoros. The Leopards are expected to go into this game with the same system and mindset to be compact and solid at the back preventing Ghana from creating a lot of passes and to depend on counter attacks with the help of their pacey wingers.
Due to the disappointing results from the game between Morocco and Ghana, Rajevac is expected to make changes in his line up and to play an all out attacking system coming Friday. The dynamics of this game would be different from Ghana’s last match. Ghana would possibly see much possession on the day but their availability to win the match would depend on how lethal their attacks would be to convert the chances they will create.
PREMIER LEAGUE PLAYERS TO FEATURE:
This encounter between Gabon and Ghana would see three Premier League players in action this Friday.
Daniel Amartey of Leicester City who had a stellar performance against Morocco on Monday would be starting for Ghana. His experience brings calmness and composure at across the defensive back line of Ghana. He reads the game better and his passing accuracy is also high.
Thomas Partey would play a pivotal role in this showpiece. On Monday he wasn’t at the best of his game and couldn’t put a better shift in the midfield due to tiredness but he’s fully poised to make amends on Friday. He holds the ball better and passes it very well. He’s that type of midfielder that has an eye for goal and he’s a very good set piece specialist.
In Ghana’s attack, Jordan Ayew of Crystal Palace who didn’t have a good game against Morocco could be in action. Playing the right system that will suit him and creating a lot of chances on the day would help him gain confidence in front of goal on the day.
For Gabon, Covid-19 related issues still keeps their skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubamenyang to feature in this game leaving a void in their attack to be filled by a different player.
Gabon: Jean-Noel Amonome,Lloyd Palun, Bruno Ecuele Manga, Sidney Obissa, Johann Obiang; Denis Bouanga, Andre Biyogo Poko, Guelor Kanga, David Sambissa; Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Aaron Boupendza.
Ghana: Jojo Wollacott,Andy Yiadom, Alexander Djiku, Daniel Amartey,Baba Rahman; Baba Iddrissu,Thomas Partey, Andre Ayew; Abdul Fatawu Issahaku, Kamaldeen Sulemana, Joseph Painstil.
Gabon 1-2 Ghana