Key players Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari have been named in a very strong Ghana starting line-up to face Egypt in a crucial World Cup playoff in Kumasi on Tuesday afternoon with Daniel Opare tasked with marking out dangerous winger Mohammed Sallah.
The strength of the Black Stars squad means other top players Mubarak Wakaso, Chrisitian Atsu, Jordan Ayew, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, Jordan Ayew and Albert Adomah have been dropped to the bench.
Coach Kwesi Appiah will deploy defender Daniel Opare to quell the threat of Mohammed Sallah after the Belgium-based left-back emerged as the most experienced player to contain the tricky Egyptian winger.
Germany-based Baba Rahman and Portugal-based David Addy had been tried in that position but the experience and versatility of Opare looks to have won him the favour to take on the in-form Sallah who has terrorized defenders in Europe.
Samuel Inkoom, who has been impressive in training for the Black Stars will take Opare’s right-back position.
The Black Stars trainer kept faith in South Africa-based goalkeeper Fatau Dauda as seven days of training will keep him ahead of Adam Kwarasey and Richard Kingston.
Appiah will rely on the centre-back partnership of Rashid Sumaila and Jerry Akaminko to protect Dauda as the duo will also be seeking to cement their places in the squad in the absence of John Boye, Jonathan Mensah and Isaac Vorsah.
Essien will make his first start for the Black Stars after his three-year absence after impressing in his previous appearance when he came on a substitute against Zambia last month.
The Chelsea powerhouse will partner Muntari in the midfield with the AC Milan star allowed the freedom to join the attack along with Andre Ayew and Kwadwo Asamoah playing on the right and left wings respectively.
Ghana will deploy a two-man attack with captain Asamoah Gyan and Abdul Majeed Waris taking on the Egyptian defenders in what looks like the traditional 4-4-2 Ghana formation.
The Black Stars have a strong bench with the likes of Mubarak Wakaso, Chrisitian Atsu, Jordan Ayew, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, Jordan Ayew and Albert Adomah all part of the players who will be substitutes.
Ghana must be Egypt convincingly in Kumasi to have a decent chance of reaching the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Ghana starting line-up: Fatau Dauda, Samuel Inkoom, Daniel Opare, Jerry Akaminko, Rashid Sumaila, Michael Essien, Andre Ayew, Sulley Muntari, Abdul Majeed Waris, Asamoah Gyan, Kwadwo Asamoah.
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