After a disappointing performance in their opening game of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations on Monday, the Black Stars will be hoping to get their campaign back on track when they face Gabon on Friday, January 14.
Ghana suffered a 1-0 defeat to Morocco in their first game of the competition through a late Sofiane Boufal strike in the second half.
Meanwhile, Gabon, who have been to the quarter-final of the competition twice in their history recorded a 1-0 narrow win over debutants, Comoros in their opener.
The Panthers prior to this tournament had not been in good form as they recorded five losses since the start of 2021, but a win over Comoros was the bright start to the AFCON tournament they were hoping for.
The Black Stars are known to be slow starters in competitions and grow along the line but that growth would have to be seen against Gabon if they are to give themselves a chance of advancing to the next stage.
While Gabon are hoping to book a place in the next round with a win, Ghana will also be seeking their first victory in the 33rd edition of the AFCON in the 101st appearance in the continental showpiece.
Gabon will be boosted by the return of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Lemina to the squad after the pair returned negative covid-19 results after the latest tests.
Ghana were also hoping to have Mohammed Kudus before the game but the Ajax midfielder is yet to join his teammates in Cameroon. But skipper, Andre Ayew has recovered from his head injury and should be involved in the game.
It is worth noting that the Black Stars have never beaten Gabon in an AFCON game since the inception of the tournament. However, In their previous 11 games, Ghana have recorded five wins while the Panthers have also won three times with the remaining three ending in stalemates.
Gabon last five games in all competitions: W-D-L-L-W
Ghana’s last five games in all competitions: L-L-W-D-W
What has been said:
Black Stars head coach, Milovan Rajevac had this to say during his presser before the game, “We approach every match with seriousness, we studied the team, and we know Gabon, they played well in the first match and they are a good team definitely. But we will rely on ourselves and we know the amount of quality we possess so we have to be ready and tactically disciplined to give our best and I believe we have a great chance to win the next match.”
Assistant coach of Gabon, during the press conference, also revealed Aubameyang is likely to be involved after joining his teammates.
“It’s a good thing to have Aubameyang and Lemina and that gives us a bigger chance of winning against Ghana,” Anicet Yala said.
With little margins separating the two teams the last time they played, we expect a similar thing to be seen at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium on Friday.
The sharpness of both teams’ attacks will be key to any win in the game and we feel Ghana stands tall in this department.
We say a 2-1 win for Ghana in this encounter.
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