WORLD CUP FORECAST: Group G – Will Ghana bring their best to a difficult group?

Ghana’s qualifying campaign appeared to be somewhat of a breeze with five wins in their six final round matches before hammering Egypt in the first leg of the play-off.

Ghana’s qualifying campaign appeared to be somewhat of a breeze with five wins in their six final round matches before hammering Egypt in the first leg of the play-off.

Their 7-3 aggregate win over the Egyptians, which came courtesy of a 6-1 win at home, suggested that they could be ready to explode at the 2014 World Cup.

And that could still be the case as evidenced by their 4-0 friendly win over fellow qualifier South Korea last week.

However, the Black Stars will have to navigate top European nations Germany and Portugal as well as the USA – CONCACAF’s best team – in Group G.

These World Cup finals will be a massive test of Ghana’s spirit and character and if they can put in three solid performances then they certainly won’t be disgraced, however, will that be enough to progress to the next phase?

Ghana

Manager: James Kewsi Appiah

Fixtures: USA - June 16 (Natal), Germany - June 21 (Fortaleza), Portugal - June 26 (Brasilia)

Past outings against group opponents: Ghana have come up against the US on two occasions in the past, both at World Cups, for two wins. The Black Stars saluted 2-1 in the group stage in 2006 before getting the better of the Americans with a 2-1 extra-time victory in the Round of 16 in 2010.

Ghana have lost to Germany twice before in their two previous meetings. The last time they met was at the 2010 World Cup which saw Germany win 1-0 in Johannesburg.

The Ghanaians have never met Portugal at senior international level.

Key players: Asamoah Gyan (Al-Ain), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke)

World Cup utopia: To get out of this group would be a massive achievement.

Doomsday scenario: Failing to record at least a point.

Qualified by virtue of: CAF play-off win over Egypt (7-3 on aggregate).

Best result at a World Cup: Quarter-final (2010)

tribal’s forecast:

James Kwesi Appiah is the first Ghanaian coach in some time to lead the Black Stars following the Ghana Football Association’s recent love affair with European managers.

The 53-year old took the reins in April 2012 and became the first African coach to lead the team to the World Cup finals.

His team has no problem scoring goals but they generally do it against lesser opponents so that poses the question whether or not they have the quality to worry the capable line-ups of the Germans, Portuguese and Americans.

Gyan is the key up front, having scored nine goals in his past 10 internationals, but he will need assistance from the exciting Jordan Ayew as well as other inexperienced attackers Abdul Majeed Waris (although currently injured) and Wakaso Mubarak.

Boateng and Muntari will be pulling the strings in midfield with Andre Ayew playing out wide while the experienced John Mensah and Kwadwo Asamoah will lead the defensive line.

Ghana certainly have the personnel to be a top quality football side and in a lot of other groups would probably be a chance of sneaking into the top-two places but there are three fairly strong obstacles ahead of them.

If the Black Stars can force a positive result against the US in their opener, then the confidence they take from that game could breed into something bigger, but it is a completely different story attempting to traverse around the might of Portugal and Germany.

Prediction: Group stage elimination.

 
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