After a year and two months since last being there, the Black Stars return to the Baba Yara Stadium for their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Comoros.
It is still unknown what form of reaction the team will receive in Kumasi after their last Garden City outing against Uganda ended up being a chaotic affair.
Much of the talk surrounding the game has been the possible reduction of bonuses of the Stars and a conspiracy to play below par last Friday, a similar subject which agitated fans a year ago.
The Stars were held to a goalless draw in their first leg and the permutations are simple: win and qualify for the next round of the qualifiers.
Avram Grant is expected to have his captain and talisman fit and ready for today’s game after Gyan sat out the vast majority of the game in Comoros with a niggling knee injury.
Gyan is on 48 international goals for Ghana and on the occasion of his 95th cap for Ghana, he could hit the half century mark in terms of goals. This will clearly serve as a source of motivation for Gyan who may use the occassion as his pre-birthday gift.
The Israeli trainer nonetheless is unperturbed about pressure mounting on him after Ghana’s blunt performance in Friday.
“Pressure is good, pressure push you too achieve the most, when you have life without anything you pressure you don’t need to achieve anything.”
On the basis of this, Grant is relishing today’s clash as he holds the key to Ghana qualifying for its fourth consecutive World Cup as well as Grant’s personal first.
Les Coelecantes of Comoros have nothing to lose and clearly see themselves as underdogs. Their game plan remains simple; sit back, soak the pressure and catch Ghana on the counter.
The onus lies on Ghana to be more purposeful in attack, find spaces and have the patience to break down the Comoros backline.
Avram is likely to replace Majeed Waris up top with captain Asamoah Gyan slotting in for him while Dede Ayew is fit enough to start despite having troubles with his knee.The backline will remain as the first leg with Jonathan Mensah and John Boye in the heart of defence. It is unknown whether the midfield duo of Afriyie Acquah and Mubarak Wakaso will continue with their partnership.
Probable XI: Razak Braimah; Harrison Afful, Baba Rahman, Jonathan Mensah, John Boye; Afriyie Acquah, Mubarak Wakaso, Andre Ayew, Solomon Asante; Jordan Ayew, Asamoah Gyan.
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