Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has named a totally unrecognizable strong squad that includes Michael Essien, Kevin Prince Boateng and Andre Ayew to face Zambia in next month’s 2014 World Cup qualifier.
Essien, who had pleaded to be excluded from the country’s squad to fight for his position at club level over the past two years, is a shock inclusion while returnees Boateng of AC Milan and Andre Ayew were included.
In a squad that is capable of conquering any side in Africa, coach Appiah blended experience with youth as several key players like Kwadwo Asamoah, captain Asamoah Gyan and Mubarak Wakaso all listed to face the Chipolopolo.
In his clearest demonstration of his desire to crush the Zambians in Kumasi, coach Appiah brought in talented youngster Frank Acheampong who is in blistering form in Belgium with giants Anderlecht.
However, returnees Jordan Ayew and Sulley Muntari were excluded even though they had made themselves available for the country.
But the Black Stars squad named on Tuesday, which is its strongest in years for the country, maintained the key players in the team who have been instrumental in the absence of the likes of Essien, Kevin Boateng and Andre Ayew.
Hardworking midfielder Rabiu Mohammed, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, John Boye and Jonathan Mensah as well as Samuel Inkoom, Daniel Opare and Harrison Afful were all maintained.
Russia-based striker Abdul Majeed Waris has been recalled after recovering from injury following an impressive start in Kumasi when Ghana thrashed Sudan 4-0 in a World Cup qualifier earlier this year.
DR Congo-based defender Richard Kissi Boateng was also named in the team after being cleared by FIFA to play in the match.
This means players like Baba Rahman and Lee Addy who were speculated to be part of the squad were all dropped because of the keenness in the fight for positions in the team.
Coach Appiah named 26 players as some of the players will also be tested in the Ghana-Japan friendly scheduled for 10 September in Yokohama.
The Black Stars will start camping on Monday in Accra ahead of the game in Kumasi.
Ghana currently top Group D and will need to avoid defeat to reach the final phase of the 2014 World Cup.
Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Adam Kwarasey (Stromgodset, Norway), Razak Braimah (Guadalajara, Spain)
Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro, Ukraine), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege, Belgium), Harrison Afful (Esperance, Tunisia), Kissi Boateng (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), John Boye (Rennes, France), Jonathan Mensah (Evian, France), Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Mohammed Awal (Maritzburg United, South Africa)
Midfielders: Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar, Russia), Yussif Raman Chibsah (Sassuolo, Italy), Michael Essien (Chelsea, England), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus, Italy), Emmanuel Agyemang Badu (Udinese, Italy), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough, England), Solomon Asante (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Mubarak Wakaso (Espanyol, Spain), Christian Atsu (Porto, Portugal), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium)
Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain, UAE), Andre Ayew (Marseille, France), Kevin Prince Boateng (AC Milan, Italy), Abdul Majeed Waris (Spartak Moscow, Russia), Mahatma Otoo (Sogndal, Norway).
What do you think of the squad released by coach Kwesi Appiah to face the Zambians? Do you think the players called are capable of thrashing Zambia in Kumasi? Do you think some players should have been included in the squad? Make your views known in the box below: