Head-to-head: Egypt wins 9, Ghana wins 4, Draws 5
Egypt first met Ghana in the 1960 Italy Olympic qualifiers, which saw the Pharaohs win 2-1 before slumping to a 2-0 defeat to their rivals a month later, as the Arab nation eventually qualified for the Olympics.
Egypt’s biggest win over Ghana came right in the next Olympic campaign in Tokyo, where they thrashed the West Africans 5-1 en route to securing the tournament’s fourth place; the Pharaohs’ biggest Olympic feat ever.
On the African front, both sides clashed three times in the Cup of Nations, drawing once as Egypt made up for a 1-0 group-stage defeat in 1992 to snatch the title in the 2010 finals, courtesy of Geddo’s famous goal.
However, most of their meetings came in friendly games, with Egypt winning five and losing four out of a total of 13 non-competitive games.
Ghana – the second nation boasting maximum CAN trophies with four titles under their belt after seven-time champions Egypt – eye a third consecutive World Cup appearance, having first made it to the competition in 2006.
Players to watch
Skipper Gyan remains Ghana’s main source of danger, thanks to his pace, physical presence and goalscoring prowess.
Gyan’s four World Cup qualifying goals
Gyan goal vs.Sudan (home)
Gyan vs. Sudan (Away) (1st)
Gyan vs. Sudan (Away) (2nd)
Gyan vs. Lesotho
Gyan’s goal vs. Egypt in Ghana 3-0 friendly win in January
Gyan’s goal in CAN 2013 3-0 win over Niger
Whether deployed as a central midfielder or left winger, Asamoah remains one of Ghana’s key men that could prove a handful for Egypt in both positions.
The Juventus left-back, who has been a regular for the Serie A side since the start of the season, bagged three goals for Ghana this year; a goal in the World Cup qualifying 2-1 win against Zambia and another two in CAN 2013.
Asamoah goal vs Zambia in 2014 WC qualifiers.
Asamoah goal vs. DR Congo in CAN 2013
Another prolific wide man not to be reckoned with is Andre Ayew who plies his trade at Ligue 1 side Marseille.
The 23-year-old has been in a steady form of late, grabbing two goals in the last two league games against Lorient and Paris SG respectively.
The son of the legendary Abedi Pele, however, failed to find the net for Ghana since an extra-time winner against Tunisia in the CAN 2012 quarter-finals.
Ayew goal vs. Tunisia (CAN 2012)
Ayew spectacular goal vs. Mali (CAN 2012)
Ayew’s penalty against PSG
Ayew’s killer against Lorient.
Coach: James Kwesi Appiah
Appiah is a former Ghana full-back who had a 10-year playing career that saw him help Ghanaian giants Asante Kotoko to six league titles.
As a coach, he didn’t move outside the boundaries of his homeland, having managed the Ghana U-23 side to steer them to the 2011 All-Africa games.
After assuming the assistant coach post for four years, he took the helm of the Black Stars’ senior side in 2012, replacing Serbian manager Goran Stevanovic who failed to lead his team to the CAN finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Recent form: Highest goalscorers
Ghana boast an impressive World Cup qualifying run, which saw them open their Group D campaign with a comprehensive 7-0 home win over minnows Lesotho.
Appiah’s men slumped to one defeat only in their campaign; a 1-0 away loss against Zambia back in June.
But the Black Stars were able to bounce back with another big home win, thrashing Sudan 4-0 before registering another 3-1 victory in Omdurman.
Their form in friendlies, however, wasn’t equally impressive, drawing 2-2 with Turkey before losing to Libya and Japan 1-0 and 3-1 respectively.
Ghana were the highest scoring team in Africa’s World Cup qualifying group stage, notching 18 goals in six games.