Ghana

Full Squad:

Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars).

Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Platanias), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Harrison Afful (Esperance), John Boye (Rennes), Jonathan Mensah (Evian), Rashid Sumalia (Mamelodi Sundowns).

Midfielders: Michael Essien (AC Milan), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese), Afriyie Acquah (Parma), Christian Atsu (Vitesse), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan).

Forwards: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke 04), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes), Jordan Ayew (Sochaux).

Likely Ghana XI For 2014 World Cup

Best Ever Finish: Quarterfinals (2010)

Captain: Asamoah Gyan

Manager: Akwasi Appiah

The Black Stars looked as though they may have to negotiate a tricky play-off tie to take their place at the 2014 World Cup. They were pitted against Egypt in what looked the tightest of all the African play-off games, but Ghana blitzed Bob Bradley’s side 6-1 in the first leg and in doing so, all but secured their ticket to Brazil.

It was a performance and a score-line that made people sit up and take note of this side. And Ghana certainly have some players capable of doing some real damage in Brazil.

Particularly in midfield, where they have a glut of excellent options. Michael Essien is the most familiar of these names and he always seems to perform when pulling on the Ghanian national shirt. He’s ably supported by the likes of Juventus’ Kwadwo Asamoah, Milan’s Sulley Muntari and FC Schalke’s Kevin-Prince Boateng; three players who have played and performed well on some of Europe’s biggest stages in their careers to date.

There are some excellent young players coming through too. The Ayew brothers are developing well, whilst Christian Atsu – now a Chelsea player – is looking a shrewd loan signing for Vitesse Arnhem, assisting them greatly with their unexpected title challenge in the Eridivisie.

So as you can see, the midfield is in excellent order. But it must be said, the team is lacking in pretty much every other area of the pitch. They have struggled to settle on a goalkeeper and regular back-four, whereas up-front Ghana are still somewhat worryingly reliant their captain Asamoah Gyan, although the emergence of the Abdul Waris is encouraging.

Getting out of the group stage will be difficult for the Black Stars, where they face Germany, Portugal and the United States. Matching their quarter-final appearance from four years ago would be a stunning effort.

Key Man – Kwadwo Asamoah 

A real stalwart in the left-sided berth for Juventus, Asamoah offers the same energetic presence in this Ghana side. His tireless running whether on the flank or in central midfield has been absolutely crucial to the Biaconeri’s unprecedented recent success.

His good work typically goes unnoticed and over time he has quietly evolved into the key cog in the Black Stars impressive midfield. The former Udinese man is capable of forming a dynamic middle three with Muntari and Essien, but with Ghana’s plethora of exceptional central midfielders, expect him to line-up on the left-hand side. From this position Ghana’s orthodox 4-5-1 system should allow Asamoah license to burst forward and effect the game in more advanced areas.

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