Ghana World Cup 2014 Team Profile

Ghana - World Cup 2014 Team Profile

Germany.

Mike Tuckerman reports

Road to Brazil

Ghana cruised through Group D in the second round of African qualifying, topping their section with five wins from a possible six. That sent them through to a two-legged playoff against North African heavyweights Egypt, with the Black Stars prevailing 7-3 on aggregate - thanks largely to a thumping 6-1 home win in the first leg in Kumasi.

Fixtures

Ghana team jersey kit 1 (c) Soccerphile. Ghana team jersey kit 2 (c) Soccerphile.

Ghana Kit 1
Copyright © Soccerphile

Ghana Kit 2
Copyright © Soccerphile

Ghana v USA 16 June; Natal
Ghana v Germany 21 June; Fortaleza
Ghana v Portugal; 26 June; Brasilia

Analysis

Lead by a Ghanaian coach for the first time at the World Cup finals, the Black Stars will run out with a youthful squad sprinkled with individual experience.

Anchored in midfield by Milan-based duo Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari, the star of the team is captain and all-time top-scorer Asamoah Gyan. Now based in the United Arab Emirates with Al Ain, the former Sunderland striker is still only 28 and capable of riling even the tightest of defences. 

It's in defence where Ghana could struggle, not least because the Black Stars lack experience both in goal and the back four. Relatively untested in African qualifying, Ghana's hopes of qualifying for the knock-out phase may depend largely on goalkeeper Fatau Dauda's ability to keep a clean sheet in the group stage.

Key player: Asamoah Gyan

While the likes of Essien, Muntari, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Andre Ayew are already household names, it's the 79-times-capped Gyan who holds the key to Ghana's chances of progression. The dynamic front man has rattled home an impressive 40 international goals for the Black Stars and he'll be itching to make his mark in what is his third World Cup finals appearance.

One to watch: Jordan Ayew

While Gyan is expected to be the main source of goals, 22-year-old Marseille livewire Jordan Ayew is coming into form at just the right time. The pacy striker - who is the son of former Ghanaian legend Abedi Pele - scored a hat-trick in Ghana's final warm-up game against South Korea.

Coach: Kwesi Appiah

A former Ghana international, Kwesi Appiah became the first black African coach to lead a team to the World Cup finals when he qualified for the 2014 tournament. He'll be eager to prove he's not a stop-gap appointment, but after leaving veterans Richard Kingston and John Mensah out of his squad, he'll have to work hard to silence the doubters.

FIFA World Ranking

Record

2006 Second round, 2010 Quarter Finals.

World Cup Betting

Soccerphile Says

Can the USA make it third time lucky by beating Ghana in their opening Group G game? The Black Stars need a good start to have any chance of getting out of a very tough group. We think the USA might just win this game or at least avoid defeat and for the first time in their brief World Cup story, Ghana will exit at the group stage.

2014 World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars)

Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Platanias), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Harrison Afful (Esperance), John Boye (Rennes), Jonathan Mensah (Evian), Rashid Sumalia (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Midfielders: Michael Essien (AC Milan), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese), Afriyie Acquah (Parma), Christian Atsu (Vitesse), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan)

Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke 04), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes), Jordan Ayew (Sochaux)