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FEATURE: Probable Ghana starting XI against Egypt

Published on: 11 October 2013
Ghana's starting line-up

When I was a young boy growing up in Asylum Down, I had a fetish for newspapers; I will buy them, read them and stack them.

I was always fascinated with football match previews especially the big local derbies and fiery international matches involving the Black Stars of Ghana.

Back then, the headlines screamed ''Battle fit for the Gods'', ''War of Marrakesh'', ''and Desert Storm ''etc.

As Ghana’s Black Stars engage Egypt’s Pharaohs in the final play off, for a place at 2014 World Cup, in Kumasi on October 15, I have tossed up similar theme names for the crucial decider.

‘War of Attrition”, “Rumble in Oseikrom”? Well, I can’t seem to settle on any just yet. However by way of a preview, I have definitely picked my starting eleven, “the soldiers”, for both sides, with emphasis on Ghana’s Starting 11.

Playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation, this is how I expect coach Kwesi Appiah to line up. Which soldiers’ name is first out of the camp? Your guess may even be better than mine.

Richard Frank Paul “Olele” Kingson: -Somebody tell me how many lives Olele has. Just when you write him off, write his football obituary and think he is buried for good, he springs back to life like a cat out of the sack.

He did that in 2006, with 2 months to the World Cup; he played in a friendly against Stuttgart and ended up dislodging then number 1, Sammy Adjei.

Then for 2 years starting July 2011, he was without a club and a forgotten man; Kingson out of the blue signs for DOXA in Cyprus and is recalled after 4 games. His call up has caused massive outcry in media and social circles, but surely Kwesi Appiah didn’t travel all the way to Cyprus to go and watch Olele for nothing. Olele would start ahead of Fatau Dauda and Adam Kwarasey. That surely will be the reasonable pick. His return would put the other keepers under pressure and if either is fielded ahead of Olele, the pressure on them to perform might lead to more jitters. So, Olele will keep and is expected to bring over 17 years of national team experience to command his goal area and also to organize a very inexperienced backline that Ghana is expected to field. Olele knows an opportunity when he sees one. Could this be another?

Daniel Opare:-  This is an easy pick. The Standard Liege player would surely start ahead of Dnipro’s Samuel Inkoom who has been largely inactive at club level. Opare’s work is really cut out. He is the man to deal with the new poster boy of Egyptian football;  Mohammed Sallah of Swiss side, Basel FC. Sallah has punished many a teams] who couldn’t track his slippery runs on the left wing. 6 goals he has scored in the qualifiers and Daniel Opare will have to curb his appetite to overlap and simply be a defender on the day.

David Addy:-  In his quiet moments, David who plays for Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal, will pinch himself to reassure himself. Overlooked for so long when he has been a consistent performer at club level, his call up must be refreshing yet one pregnant with responsibility. David will have to dig deep into his U-20 World Cup and Portuguese league experience, not only to counter the threat to be posed on the left side of defense from either Zamalek’s Shikabala or Abdullah Al Saied. His experience will trump the youth of Baba Abdul Rahman who is David’s competitor for the left back. David’s strength of bombing forward could also be his weakness and will be better served if he sticks first and foremost to clearing his lines.

Jerry Akaminko:- Another layer in the backline given another lease of life to impress. Dumped after the 2013 Nations Cup, Jerry has gone about his job at Turkish side, Eskisehirspor quietly. He will definitely start and will be expected to bring to bear his tough tackling and physical game to thwart the efforts of Amr Zaki or Hull City’s Mohamed Nagy a.k.a Gedo.

Rashid Sumaila: - So much can happen in just 6 months. Rashid Sumaila in that time has moved on from Kotoko to Sundowns in South Africa and also moved on from being a fringe member of the Black Stars to staking a bold claim for starters role. A ball playing defender , he will be picked ahead of fellow South Africa based Mohammed Awal who is mainly brawn compared to Sumaila’s brainy game.

Micheal Essien:-  Cast aside by his foster daddy at Chelsea, Ghana will surely have use for Michael Essien. There are players and there are players. Essien belongs to the latter and his mere presence is likely to draw caution from Egypt’s Mohammed Aboutrika and Basel’s Mohamed Elneny who will be attacking Ghana’s defense. Essien should bring a calming presence to shield Ghana’s defense.

Kwadwo Asamoah:- The Juventus man thrived in this position in the last game against Zambia. In that double defensive midfield unit, Asamoah will feed off Essien’s stabilizing influence and have the freedom to drive and create and even unleash shots to score, like he did versus Zambia.

Adrew “Dede” Ayew:-  If you are looking for a man to work his socks off, keep the opposing defense busy while tracking back to help out in defense, Dede is your man. His ability to add something extra offensively is why he is my pick ahead of another hard working player, Albert Adomah on the right.

Mubarak Wakaso:- The toughest call to make. One player is young, full of running and with a fierce shot just like his senior colleague who however is tad slower. Wakaso is the former and he gets my pick for the left wing primarily because he can match the Egyptians at their physical game and wear them out before Sulley Muntari who has been in good form for Milan comes in the second half to finish off, when the game might need his experience and surprise killer shots.

Asamoah Gyan:- The captain before the last game versus Zambia had an outstanding run;

6 goals in 4 games; playing behind the main striker. In the Zambian game it was evident that, he wasn’t fit but even in that condition he made a vital contribution with his involvement and passes. Gyan has good technique and in this position, he can also draw out defenders by dropping deep to create gaps in the defense of Egypt for his mates to explore.

Abdul Majeed Warris:-  2 goals in the last 2 games is a good return for Warris’ fledging national team career. Beyond the goals, his pace, sharpness and goal instincts belie his rather small 5ft 7 frame. His quick movement should come in handy against 38 year old Wael Gomma. With him, you can be assured that once the chances are created, he will bury at least one

A line up like this should definitely ensure an Egyptian conquest. That’s it! “Conquest in Oseikrom!” But then again …. Well, I am sure you have better ideas. Keep them coming, as well as your line up.

[email protected]; follow me on twitter @niithesoccerguy



This article has 27 comment(s), give your comment
  • Pele says:
    October 11, 2013 10:20 am
    Dauda,Opare,Inkoom,Jerry,Awal,Essien,Dede,K.Asa,Gyan,Waris,Wakasu.sub.Atsu,Muntari,Jordan.ghana wol surely get a penalty nd Wakasu wol score score gh.2-0 the Egyptian will hit the cross bar twice.wakasu,atsu,k asa wol get a yellow cards.the mat. Will be very tought nd the Egyptian will be force to make 2 force subts.they will attack the ref.nd protest against the penalty.GSN. Shld keep updating this comment nd see after the mat. Period.
  • Benny Boy says:
    October 11, 2013 11:10 am
    I would favour Kingson to be the number 1 for us since he has the ability to organise the back line better than Fatau and Kwarasey. Seeing that the central defensive pair have not played together a lot, Kingson could be very pivotal in assisting them to tame Egypt. I will start Muntari ahead of Wakaso as Muntari can help kill the game off before Wakaso comes in to pile extra pressure on the Egyptians. We need the strikers to be very clinical in front of goal as every single chance created would be critical. We need to see them off in this first game otherwise it could be very tricky in Egypt. I will elect Waris to play ahead of Jordan just because of his display against Zambia and use Gyan as the main striker. Like him or hate him, he (Gyan) is our best striker and that is it. Further, the coach should be bold to make changes at any point if required. one of the things about AA is that he sometimes waits too long before making changes. this could partly be due to the fact that some players think they are too big to be substituted when in their clubs they do not complain.Go Ghana Gooooooooooo!!!
  • Experience Coach says:
    October 11, 2013 11:39 am
    Muntari can play number 4 position where Akaminko is. I don't like his game.
  • Experience Coach says:
    October 11, 2013 11:41 am
    No Inkoom!!!
  • Kwabena Owusu says:
    October 11, 2013 11:43 am
    Its your coach that is Stupid. He's Faced Ghana twice and he has been beaten. That will continue.
  • Andrew in Nigeria says:
    October 11, 2013 11:48 am
    I think Dede and Waris should start from the bench for team balance. We need a proper RW which is Adomah, Wakaso should start at LW. Essien and Muntari at DM, Asamoah in the hole behind Gyan.
  • BERNIITO says:
    October 11, 2013 01:01 pm
    I appreciate the way all of you have responded especially concerning those miscreants whose countries are bereft of sites like these and so sleep waiting for any post in order to say negative things about Ghana. I think this line up is OK but the most important thing is the players respond on the field of play. all the best!
  • askantwi says:
    October 11, 2013 01:29 pm
  • askantwi says:
    October 11, 2013 01:32 pm
  • Pastor Canada says:
    October 11, 2013 02:05 pm
    Kwarassey Opare Addy Akaminko Essien Frimpong Ayew Warris Gyan Asamoah Muntari
  • Chu says:
    October 11, 2013 02:38 pm
    I am not comfortable with Essien in defensive midfield. we need 2 DM's, a sharp 10 and a nosy striker in a 4-2-3-1
  • Final line up. says:
    October 11, 2013 02:39 pm
    THE HoLY WAR. Kwarasay Opare Addy Jerry Awal Essien Asa Dede Gyan Waris Wakasu.
  • Chu says:
    October 11, 2013 02:42 pm
    egypt has always conceded and will concede. But they always score so we need strong legs in midfield not that of Essien'
  • Chu says:
    October 11, 2013 02:45 pm
    Oh how l wish we had Annan and Rabui to choose from. if badu was in form, l would not have opened this page. l see 2-1
  • Ekow says:
    October 11, 2013 03:12 pm
  • gurdle says:
    October 11, 2013 03:49 pm
    nice line up but i would rather start gyima ahead of sumaila...guys dats my take...all de best BLACK STARS...!
  • Adebayo says:
    October 11, 2013 08:19 am
    Good squad but I would drop Wakaso and slot Muntari in the defensive midfield position just where he plays at Milan. Then I would move Asa to just behind the strikers: Kingston Opare, Rahsid, Jerry, Addy Essien Muntari Ayew Asa Gyan Waris
  • NONI(9JA 1ST SON) says:
    October 11, 2013 08:42 am
    The last time I saw Richard Kingson was at Prophet TB JOSHUA's church in Lagos, Nigeria. He was looking so tattered, maybe he came to beg for bags of rice from the man of God. Hhahaahahah. Believe me when I say "I see no future in this current Ghana squad. They are a total write off. So funny to know that Gaynaians has forgotten their 1-3 loss to the blue samurai of Japan so soon. Egypt is gonna **** you people up on Tuesday. Mark it.
  • goro says:
    October 11, 2013 08:55 am
    Your choice quiet dovetails mine, except I wasn't sure what to do with Muntari. Either way will go fine I believe; Muntari changing position with K. Asamoah in your line up and Wackaso starting from the bench...a painful decision for me given the energy and accuracy of Wackaso~
  • egyptian says:
    October 11, 2013 09:04 am
    if ghana play a high back line as usual , ghana will suffer against us whatever its squad ! i hope A.A keep his stupidity in this match !
  • keage says:
    October 11, 2013 09:05 am
    i agree with adebayo 100%
  • Kofi Africa says:
    October 11, 2013 08:27 am
    Yoooo I can say that the Ghanaians are talking too much with there so called religious belief say in Jesus name ghana well win but all I can say is GOD or Jesus doesn't play any role is just a game about two teams who are working hard to get a ticket to go to Brazil football is about team work, communication,...... I have a feeling that Egypt is gonna make and it we'll be a special moment. I like seeing new African teams to represent Africa.
  • Viper says:
    October 11, 2013 08:28 am
    You really sure you want to start Kingson???? Really?
  • ofri jato says:
    October 11, 2013 09:35 am
    Stupid animal, noni!!!! How dare utter such words against olele..naija pig. No wonder ur name is noni, it means shit eater..buulu!!!!!
  • Pele says:
    October 11, 2013 09:39 am
    Dauda,opare,inkooom,jerry,awal,essien,dede,k.asa,gyan,warris,wakasu.ghana wol score two zero.wakasu nd dede.super sub.muntari,atsu.jordan.ghana wol surely get a penalty nd wakasu wol score it.the mat wol be a nerve racking one.da egyptian wol hit da cross bar twice nd the stadium wol be silent.opare,atsu,k.asa.wol get a yellow cards.GSN.shld keep updating dis nd see after the mat.period.
  • Baktiria says:
    October 11, 2013 09:47 am
    Kingston has no part to play in this game.what has Kwarasey switched his nationality for? Wakaso and Muntari is my concern.luking at how consistent wakaso is in the black stars and the best form in which Muntari is opinionated starting xi. Kwarasey,opare,addy,akaminko,sumaila,essien,asamoah,dede,wakaso,gyan,waris.with a 4-1-3-2 formation.
  • ned mann says:
    October 11, 2013 09:55 am
    Noni and that of Egyptian should cry thier own cry...I don't see Egypt scoring a goal in the match to be played.... go Ghana!!!!