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Preview: Ghana to fine-tune readiness with friendly against Namibia ahead of AFCON opener


The Black Stars of Ghana will engage the Brave Warriors of Namibia in a friendly at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Monday.

This forms part of Ghana’s preparation before their 2023 AFCON opener against Cape Verde on January 14, while Namibia opens their campaign against Tunisia on January 16.

Ghana, who have won the AFCON four times, go to Cote d’Ivoire as outsiders to win the ultimate trophy, and that quest to end the over-four-decade AFCON trophy drought will be difficult.

Black Stars coach Chris Hughton, who has been tasked with delivering Ghana’s fifth trophy, faces a stern task, especially with a key player like Thomas Partey missing out.

Hughton is expected to use the Namibian match to test his strategies, tactics and, most importantly, figure out his starting lineup ahead of the tournament.

Monday’s friendly could instill some level of hope among Ghanaians who have somehow lost confidence in the team following some poor results in recent matches.

Namibia, who have pitched their campaign base in Accra, would be making their second appearance at the AFCON since their debut at 2010 finals in Angola.

The Brave Warriors go into the tournament as huge underdogs considering a very difficult group that includes Tunisia, South Africa, and Mali.

Namibia coach Collin Benjamin believes in the ability of his squad to pull up some surprising results and create some good memories of the tournament.

Well, an encouraging outing against the Black Stars in Kumasi on Monday would certainly boost the morale of the Brave Warriors as they seek to progress out of the group stages for the first time.

Team News

West Ham’s Mohammed Kudus is yet to report to the team’s training base in Kumasi and is unlikely to feature in Monday’s match against Namibia.

With the 26 players in camp, Chris Hughton has some quality players to call upon, especially in the midfield area, especially with Thomas Partey ruled out of the tournament.

Anderlecht midfielder Majeed Ashimeru is expected to step in for Partey considering his impressive outing for Ghana the last time.

Ghana’s attacking force looks exciting, with the likes of Athletic Club’s Inaki Williams, Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew, and Bournemouth’s Antoine Semenyo in red-hot form.

Richard Ofori seems to have reclaimed the number one goalkeeping spot, but Joseph Wollacott and Lawrence Ati-Zigi could be given the nod to start against Namibia.

For Namibia, most of the players ply their trade in Africa, with their top-most foreign player being Ryan Nyambe of Derby County.

Namibia top marksman Peter Shalulie, who scored four goals in the qualifiers, is expected to lead the charge upfront on Monday.

Ghana’s probable starting line-up: Richard Ofori (GK), Alidu Seidu, Alexander Djiku, Daniel Amartey, Gideon Mensah, Salis Samed, Majeed Ashimeru, Inaki Williams, Dede Ayew, Jordan Ayew, Antoine Semenyo

Namibia probable starting line-up: Edward Maova(GK), Ryan Nyambe, Denzil Haoseb, Gebhardt, Riann Hanamub, Marcell Papama, Ngero Katua; Uetuuru Kambato, Junior Petrus, Limbondi, Peter Shalulile

Kick-off Time: 20:00 GMT

Source: GNA

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