Ghana’s Black Stars will aim at keeping a clean sheet when they face the Sylii Nationale of Guinea in their last Group D duel billed for the Franceville Stadium on Wednesday.

The Stars sit top of the group on six points and require at least a draw to authenticate their position on the log going into the quarter finals after victories over Botswana and Mali.

Unlike Ghana, the Sylli Nationales would be needing all three points to move to six if they are to gain any realistic chance of making it out of the group, knowing Mali who face weaker foes, Botswana share the same points going into tomorrow’s clashes.

The Black Stars have scored thrice and conceded none in two outings, and would obviously relish keeping that slate clean despite the frailties goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey has shown in post so far.

Both Mali and Botswana must have held on well despite conceding two and one goals respectively from Ghana, but the Stars would be the first to admit that the firepower that Guinea brings along appear stronger than both teams combined.

If Guinea’s 6-1 walloping of Botswana is anything to go by, then Coach Goran Stevanovic would be justifiably grateful that he is spoilt for choices in terms of personnel in central defence, following the return of suspended midfield duo, John Mensah and Isaac Vorsah.

Youngsters, Jonathan Mensah and John Boye have held the fort in the absence of their experienced senior colleagues and the Serb would have to take the tough decision of either sticking with a winning team or throwing Mensah and Vorsah in the mix to shake off any match rustiness knowing the last eight beckons.

In creative Pascal Feindouno, Guinea would have the flexibility to oil any midfield and without doubt, hardworking Emmanuel Agyeman Badu would need to be at his combative and alertness best to clamp him down.

If allowed to operate, Feindouno remains the source of supply to silky Ibrahima Traore who also have an additional expertise with dead-ball situations.

All said and done if the Stars can increase their steam and pace from the blast of the whistle like the Guineans are afraid they would, then Asamaoh Gyan could do the Stars favours if he maintains a constant harassment at the opposite rear that has proven to have it’s own weaknesses.

Balde Dian Bobo may appear intimidating at the centre of defence, but that is all there is to his imposing figure. He is mistakes prone and very low on the turn; something Gyan and co can perfectly exploit.

In post would be Yattara Naby Moussa who has a poor first attempt at making savings and a worrying temper could be the Sylli Nationales’ undoing if only the Stars can take advantage of situations.

The battle lines are drawn with both teams keeping a measure of respect for each other. With the Guineans swearing to approach the game as the battle of their lives and Ghana insisting they will be granting no favours, the pitch is set for an envisaged thriller.

By Veronica Commey, (GNA  Special Correspondent in Gabon, Courtesy Ministry of Youth and Sports)


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