Black Stars

Black Stars

Ghana face a tough opener at the Africa Cup of Nations against much-fancied Senegal at the Mongomo Stadium on Monday.

The Black Stars have not lost to the Lions of Teranga in the Nations Cup after three meetings with Ghana winning two and one draw.

But the dice looks loaded against Ghana who are without several key players and experienced stars.

Juventus star Kwadwo Asamoah is out injured but World Cup troublemakers Sulley Muntari, Michael Essien and Kevin-Prince Boateng have been overlooked.

But new coach Avram Grant has got some tried and tested players- Asamoah Gyan, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Jonathan Mensah, Andre Ayew and Mohammed Rabiu- to rely on.

His side trained in Seville, Spain for ten days and played club sides Olhanense (won 3-1) and SC Cambuur (drew 1-1).

The former Chelsea manager has been experimenting a 3-5-2 formation which has not really caught on him the players.

Senegal coach Alain Giresse has been able to build a formidable side which suffered just one defeat in the qualifiers.

The Frenchman?s set-up includes some high performing players abroad like Newcastle Papis Demba Cisse, Moussa Sow, Mohamed Diam? and Cheikhou Kouyate.

After thumping Guinea 5-2 in a pre-tournament friendly, Giresse lavished his players with praises.

?On our first day in Equatorial Guinea, we will make sure that all the players get some rest and remove the toxins accumulated during the trip,? the coach told le beteur.

?As far as I am concerned, I will now focus on the tactical side. Four days in Mongomo will be enough to adapt.

?Our focus is now on our match against South-Africa. There is no calculation to make in such a competition.

?We need to impose our style of play taking into account the specificity of our opponents. Our objective remains the same: To win all our games.?

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