Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah has announced his provisional 26-man squad which will be pruned down to 23-man in search of glory in the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa.
Olympique Marseille hot-shot Jordan Ayew is out but Amidaus Professionals midfielder Yahaya Mohammed is picked in attack.
The former OG Nice midfieleder made a surprise entry into the Black Stars provisional 26-man squad while debutant Awal Mohammed has also been named.
Bristol City winger Albert Adomah will have the chance to make his AFCON debut after missing out of the 2012 finals squad.
While versatile Espanyol winger Wakaso Mubarak has also been called.
Kotoko defender Rashid Sumaila and striker Emmanuel Clottey have been recalled.
Regulars Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Kwadwo Asamoah, Andre Ayew, Christian Atsu, Derek Boateng and Asamoah Gyan have all held down their places in the team.
Ghanasoccernet.com presents an analysis of the significant names that made the list and those that were chopped off by Kwesi Appiah.
Awal Mohammed, who plays for South African Premier Soccer League side Maritzburg United is yet to be capped by the West Africans.
The former Asante Kotoko center-half, 24, was due to make his Ghana bow last month in the international friendly against Cape Verde in Portugal but failed to secure a visa.
Though his inclusion in squad owns much credence to his commanding shows in the PSL, the uncertainty over France-based duo John Boye and Jonathan Mensah is also a deciding factor.
Mensah and Boye, who were both in Goran Stevanovic’s team eleven months ago, have suffered various degrees of injuries and could miss January’s tournament.
Rashid Sumaila‘s inclusion is also on similar basis.
Sumaila who is on loan at Ghanaian champions Asante Kotoko is one of the six central defenders named in the provisional squad.
His experience with the Ghana U20 and U23 as well as the local Black Stars can help him stage a fight for a place in the final 23-man squad his chances appear slimmer.
The Turkey-based defender is likely to be on the plane to South Africa on January 17 considering his form for Eski?ehirspor in the Turkish Super League.
The former Heart of Lions man scored on his debut for the Black Stars and has impressed coach Kwesi Appiah since his debut call.
Richard Kissi Boateng
After weighing options at left-back, Kwesi Appiah settled on the former Liberty Professionals man who advertised his qualities in the Caf Champions League.
Kissi and Wakaso Mubarak are the only natural left-footed wing-halves in the list and are both likely to be confirmed in the final squad.
He got close to making it to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea but narrowly missed out of Goran Stevanovic’s squad.
The English-born must translate his swashbuckling form for struggling Bristol City in order to compete for a place in the final squad.
Obviously the surprise package of the squad.
The 24-year-old who has experience abroad after a stint with French Ligue 1 side OG Nice, has scored 8 goals in ten games in the Ghanaian top flight for debutants Amidaus Professionals from a makeshift attacking role.
His fate could however be determined by Kwesi Appiah’s choice for either three or four strikers.
There is a huge public outcry over the Mareille marksman’s exclusion from the squad.
His axing has been attributed to footballing reasons by coach Kwesi Appiah despite his devastating form in the Ligue 1.
Jo won the Marseille player of the month of November and has been the steamroller for the former European champs.
There is clearly more to his exclusion than footballing reason.
The 28-year-old returned to AC Milan after spending close to six months in the treatment room with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Though he made his AFCON intentions clear, Kwesi Appiah decided to overlook him purely for fitness concerns.
Samuel Inkoom is yet to play a league game for FC Dnipro in the Ukrainian Premier League this season.
He was given a glimmer of hope when he was handed a call-up for the friendly against Cape Verde.
His wife’s tweets describing Ghana Football Association officials and Ghana coach as ‘pot belly assholes’ sums up the frustrations around him.
Abdul Majeed Waris
Though Waris has failed to glitter in all his three outings for the Black Stars, there was some little hope to hang on.
Waris bagged 25 goals all season for Hacken and won the best player of the Swedish Allsvenskan award.
Yahaya Mohammed’s preference to the new Spartak Moscow signing is a matter of choice.
Addy’s exclusion is also one of a surprise.
The 22-year-old has been consistent for Vitória de Guimarães in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, featuring in almost every game this season.
The 2009 Fifa U20 World Cup gold medalist was hoping to gatecrash Kwesi Appiah’s squad make his AFCON debut.
But he will have to wait for the next edition.