Ghana defender John Paintsil says defeating Mali on Thursday will not be easy but he is confident the Black Stars are capable of beating the Eagles.
The two sides clash in Group B of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations with the Black Stars desperately needing a victory to ease their fears of reaching the second round.
The Eagles have an early advantage in Group B thanks to their 1-0 win over Niger in their opening game of the group on Sunday.
The victory means they top of group on three points after Ghana were held to a 2-2 draw by DR Congo at the group’s Port Elizabeth venue.
Mali are no strangers to Ghana as they met twice at last year’s competition, with the Black Stars winning the Group D game 2-0 and the Eagles claiming third spot in the play-off with a victory by the same margin.
Paintsil says despite the free flowing game of the Malians, Ghana can defeat them to boost their chances of reaching the second round.
“We watched Mali play and they are a very good side, they are very comfortable with the ball,” Ghana defender John Paintsil said.
“But we have a very good coach with a lot of experience and he’ll decide how we play against them.
“We believe in ourselves.
“We respect Mali as a team and we aren’t going there thinking we are going to walk on them.”
Ghana will all but seal their place in the quarter finals if they manage to defeat the Malians.