Ghana will take on Kenya today, the 8th of September, 2018 at 1 pm in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.
The Black Stars, the overwhelming favourites to top Group F didn’t make a light meal of their footballing pedigree when they brushed aside Ethiopia by scoring 5 unanswered goals. Kenya, on the other hand, were beaten 2-1 by Sierra Leone.
One will argue that due to the defeat, the Harambee Stars will approach this game as wounded lions and so the Black Stars will have to guard against complacency.
Ghana is looking to qualify for the Nations Cup for the eighth consecutive time whereas the Kenyans are looking forward to their first qualification since 2004.
In a friendly match played in Mombasa on the 10th of December 1965 Kenya suffered a 13-2 drubbing at the hands of Ghana, Ghana’s biggest victory in a football match so far.
The match was part of Kenya’s Independence Day celebrations and Founding President, Jomo Kenyatta who couldn’t stand the “humiliation” had to leave the stadium before the referee blew his final whistle to end the match.
The defeat effectively “retired” Jomo Kenyatta as the number one fan of the Kenyan national team as he didn’t attend any football match until his death in 1978.
Kenya’s Team News
The Kenyans will miss as many as six influential players for the game against Ghana.
Tottenham Hotspur and Kenyan midfielder, Victor Wanyama couldn’t make the final squad because he just returned from a knee injury and will need more time to gain match fitness. Anthony Agay Akumu of Zesco United is expected to fill in the huge void created as a result of Wanyama’s absence.
Kenyan speedster, Paul Were is out with a groin problem.
Defender, Brian Mandela and winger, Ayub Timbe will miss the game due to suspension.
Jesse Were and David Owino are also major doubts for the game.
Sebastian Migne is expected to set up his team in a 4-4-2 formation when attacking and revert to a 4-3-3 formation when defending.
Anthony Agay, Johanna Omollo, Francis Kahata and Eric Johanna are expected to complete Kenya’s four-man midfield.
David Cheche Ochieng and Musa Mohammed will be deployed as the centre-backs whiles Philemon Otieno and Abud Omar are expected to be deployed as the left and right back respectively.
Kenya’s duo upfront is expected to be Michael Orunga and Ovella Ochieng.
Goalkeepers: Ian Otieno, Patrick Matasi, Farouk Shikalo
Defenders: Jockins Atudo, Philemon Otieno, Joash Onyango, Dennis Odhiambo, David Ochieng, Abud Omar, Eric Ouma, Joseph Okumu, Musa Mohammed, David Owino, Benard Ochieng
Midfielders: Francis Kahata, Johanna Omollo, Johanna Eric, Anthony Akumu, Ismail Gonzalez, Abdallah Hassan
Forwards: Ovella Ochieng, Piston Mutamba, Jesse Were, Michael Olunga
Kenya’s Probable Line-up [4-4-2]
Patrick Matasi [GK], David Ochieng, Abud Omar, Musa Mohammed, Philemon Otieno, Anthony Akumu, Jonathan Omollo, Francis Kahata, Eric Johanna, Michael Olunga, Ovella Ochieng.
Ghana’s Team News
Jordan Ayew, Andre Dede Ayew and Asamoah Gyan were excluded from the squad.
There was a lot of reportage in the media about Kwadwo Asamoah picking up an injury during training. These reports were later debunked by the Inter Milan Star.
Rashid Sumaila was handed a late call-up after John Boye and Kasim Nuhu Adams picked up injuries.
William Owusu of Royal Antwerp has been handed his first national call-up and could make his debut.
Frank Acheampong will have no part to play in this game due to an eye injury. His place is likely to be taken by Belgium-based midfielder Nana Ampomah.
Kwesi Appiah is a proponent of the 4-4-2 formation and is expected to keep the same tactical structure as demanded by the formation.
There will be a lot of reliance on the wide men whiles the midfield duo are expected to be direct in their approach play.
With Richard Ofori as the goalkeeper, Daniel Opare and Harrison Afful are expected to occupy the right and left fullback positions whiles Nicholas Opoku partners Daniel Amartey in the heart of the defence.
Afriyie Acquah is to be deployed as the defensive midfielder whiles his midfield partner, Kwadwo Asamoah or Ebenezer Ofori will be given the license to join the attack depending on the game situation.
Nana Ampomah and Christian Atsu are expected to be deployed as the right and left wingers, respectively.
The two forwards are expected to be Thomas Partey and Raphael Dwamena.
Goalkeepers: Lawrence Ati Zigi, Richard Ofori
Defenders: Harrison Afful Daniel Opare Daniel Amartey, Andy Yiadom Nicholas Opoku Rashid Sumaila
Midfielders: Afriyie Acquah Isaac Sackey Ebenezer Ofori [New York City F.C – U.S.A], Cristian Atsu Edwin Gyasi Kwadwo Asamoah Frank Acheampong Nana Ampomah
Forwards: Raphael Dwamena Thomas Teye Partey Abdul Majid Waris William Owusu
Ghana’s Possible Starting Line-up [4-4-2]
Richard Ofori [GK], Daniel Opare, Nicholas Opoku, Daniel Amartey, Harrison Afful, Afriyie Acquah, Kwadwo Asamoah/Ebenezer Ofori, Frank Acheampong, Christian Atsu, Thomas Partey, Raphael Dwamena.