Ghana will return to competitive action for the first time in almost 12 months when they welcome Sudan at the Cape Coast Sports stadium on Thursday.

It’ll be matchday three of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with both sides playing two matches so far.

Due to Covid-19, match circumstances won’t be the same as there will be no fans allowed at the Cape Coast Sports stadium.

Match Preview

The Black Stars come into this game as favorites having won both games so far without conceding a goal. Victories against South Africa and São Tomé and Príncipe leaves the four-time champions on top of Group C.

Despite taking charge of two games, CK Akonnor will be on the sidelines for his first competitive game with the national team. The former Kotoko coach has showed contrasting forms in his opening two friendly games, losing 3-0 to Mali and beating Qatar 5-1.

His pursuit to enjoy a winning start in competitive games will be made tougher because of the absence of fans. The national team have in the past depended on the fans during home games and it would be interesting to see how the team copes without fans.

Sudan on the other hand have been struggling for form, winning just five games since the start of 2019.

One of those victories was a huge 4-0 win over São Tomé which leaves the North Africans second in Group C for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The Sudanese appointed Hubert Velud in January 2020 to replace Croatian trainer Zdravko Logarusic and the game against Ghana will be his first competitive assignment.

Velud has had the chance to work with his new players in the last set of friendlies which Sudan lost 3-0 to Tunisia, tied 2-2 with Ethiopia and drew 1-1 with Togo.

Ghana form: L-W-W-L-W

Sudan form: W-W-L-D-D

Team News

CK Akonnor will not have the full complement of his squad as he’s had to call seven new players to augment his squad.

So far, Ghana will be without Thomas Partey, Mubarak Wakaso, Jamie Leweling and Harrison Afful.

Akonnor has reacted by inviting Andrew Kyere Yiadom, Majeed Ashimeru, Joseph Attamah Larweh, Afriyie Acquah, Clifford Aboagye, Kwadwo Amoako and Christopher Nettey.

With tightened Covid-19 protocols, it is likely some players might not arrive in time ahead of the first leg with Majeed Ashimeru set to land in Ghana on Friday.

Sudan haven’t experienced the same headache as the Black Stars with only two European players invited to their squad.

Coach Velud called upon Italy-based Ammar Tayfour and Mohamed Abdel-Rahman of Algerian side Ahly Burj Bou Arriredj. 

The rest of the 25-man squad are domestic based players with majority coming from Sudanese giants Al Merrikh, contributing 10 players.

Six players from the squad come from Hilal as the seven remaining players come from other domestic sides.

Ghana Predicted XI (4-3-3): Richard Ofori; Benson Anang; John Boye; Joseph Aidoo; Baba Rahman; Afriyie Acquah; Alexander Djiku; Samuel Owusu; Andre Ayew; Tarique Fosu;  Jordan Ayew.

Sudan Predicted XI (4-3-3): Ali Abdallah Abu-Eshrein; Atahir Eltahir; Amier Kamal Suliman; Hussein Ibrahim; Bakhit Khamis; Nasr Omar; Dhiya Mahjoub Musa; Walid Aladdin; Mohamed Mokhtar; Ahmed Hamid Al-Tash; Ramadan Agab.

Ghana vs Sudan Prediction

Ghana have faced Sudan 11 times, winning eight, drawing 1 and losing two. The overall aggregate score is in favour of the Black Stars who have scored 20 goals and conceded just four against the Falcons of Jediane.

Ghana have won five of the last six meetings against Sudan by a margin of at least two goals and the outcome of this match is likely to follow the same trajectory.

Even without key player Partey, Ghana will still have enough quality players such as Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew and Samuel Owusu to dispatch a Sudan side now soul searching under new coach Velud.

The Black Stars will look to secure qualification to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations as soon as possible and a win against Sudan at home should take them a step closer.

Prediction: Ghana 3-0 Sudan

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.