After having qualified for the World Cup three times in a row, the Black Stars failed to qualify for Russia 2018, having been eliminated by group winners, Egypt.
How do we evaluate Ghana’s chances of qualifying for Qatar 2022, some nine months before the start of the qualifying tournament?
After having enjoyed a bye in the first round, Ghana have been drawn in group together with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. The winner of this group will be drawn against another group winner for a home-and-away play-off tie, with the five play-off winners becoming Africa’s representatives in the 2022 World Cup.
Ghana is a firm favourite to win their group and advance to the play-off stage, with South Africa being the most likely challenger.
How Ghana would fare in a potential play-off depends to a large degree on who the opponent would be.
Ghana was nicknamed “the Brazil of Africa” by Marcela Mora y Araujo during the 2006 World Cup.
Considering the level of quality in the current Black Stars outfit, this is not an unapt sobriquet.
Thomas Teye Partey who during the summer has been linked time and time again with a move to Arsenal from Atletico Madrid, was revealed to be the midfielder with the best dribbling success rate among Europe’s top five leagues. This is a splendid example of the immense quality of the current Ghana team.
Recently it seems the smart money is on Partey making the move to Emirates, as a sharp tipster on arguably the best free betting tips platform, made a tip indicating that Partey joining Arsenal is a value proposition even at odds-on.
Partey is however far from the only quality player with a Ghanaian passport. The Ghana captain Dede Ayew, his brother the Crystal Palace forward Jordan Ayew, the massively talented Osman Bukari and Mohammed Kudus who was signed by Ajax a few months ago are players who could make most opposing national team managers become more than a little uneasy.
However, considering that Brazil’s spell of success started already at the 1958 World Cup and also their string of five World Cup successes, I guess we have to conclude that the moniker of the “Brazil of Africa” is a bit of a stretch.
Even so we think Ghana has more than a fighting chance of making it to the 2022 World Cup and we wish the Black Stars every possible kind of success.