GROUP D: Is Essien’s injury too much for Ghana to cover?

The injury to Michael Essien may not be the biggest piece of news in world football but the effects it could have on the Ghanaian national team could be enormous.

The 27-year old Chelsea midfielder is the general in central midfield for the Black Stars but a knee injury he sustained on duty at the African Cup of Nations in January has kept him out of action in the English Premier League and now the World Cup.

It is unknown just how much it will cost the team but one thing is for sure, the spirit and camaraderie of the group will help them bind together and they are sure to put in strong performances.

As Essien misses out, South Africa 2010 comes as a kind of renaissance for captain Stephen Appiah who has hardly played in the past two years because of knee injuries.

He is on his way back to full fitness and could prove to be the perfect foil for Essien but it must be said that Ghana have some emerging stars who can make a positive impact in their group.

Asamoah Gyan, Kwadwo Asamoah and Dominic Adiyiah are just three names that will be seen in lights in the future and with rock-hard defenders John Mensah and John Paintsil forming a wall at the back, Milovan Rajevac’s men could still be a formidable force following their second-place in the African Cup.

Ghana

Playing schedule: Serbia (Pretoria) June 13; Australia (Rustenburg) June 18; Germany (Johannesburg) June 23

Also known as: Black Stars
Manager: Milovan Rajovec (SRB)
Captain: Stephen Appiah
Key players: Sulley Muntari, John Mensah, Stephen Appiah
Wildcard: Kevin-Prince Boateng
Player to watch: Asamoah Gyan
Most caps: Richard Kingson (75)
Top goalscorer: Abedi Pele (33). Of this squad: Asamoah Gyan (19)
FIFA ranking: 32
Qualifying: Fourth in CAF group stage.
Appearance: 2nd
Best result: Round of 16 - 2006

Ghana squad

Goalkeepers

Richard Kingson (Wigan Athletic)
Daniel Adjei (Liberty Professionals)
Stephen Ahorlu (Heart of Lions)

Defenders

John Paintsil (Fulham)
John Mensah (Lyon)
Samuel Inkoom (FC Basel)
Hans Adu Sarpei (Bayer Leverkusen)
Abdul Rahim Ayew (El Zamalek)
Lee Addy (Bechem Chelsea)
Isaac Vorsah (Hoffenheim)
Jonathan Mensah (Free State Stars)

Midfielders

Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese)
Anthony Annan (Rosenborg)
Sulley Muntari (Inter)
Kevin-Prince Boateng (Portsmouth)
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (Al Sadd)
Stephen Appiah (Bologna)
Andre Ayew (Marseille)
Derek Boateng (Getafe)

Forwards

Asamoah Gyan (Rennes)
Prince Tagoe (Hoffenheim)
Dominic Adiyiah (AC Milan)
Mathew Amoah (NAC Breda)

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http://www.worldcup.tribalfootball.com/page/Home/0,,12952,00.html

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