Ghana face Comoros in a crucial match in Group C at the 2021 AFCON later tonight
- No COVID-19 cases have been recorded in the Black Stars camp so far.
- David Abagna will miss the game after picking up a toe injury in training.
- Baba Iddrisu, who limped out of the Stars’ last match against Gabon, is also out of tonight’s match.
- Edmund Addo will most likely replace him in the lineup.
- Fatawu Issahaku, who made cameo appearances in the first two group games might be handed his first AFCON start tonight.
- Philemon Baffour could be given his first Black Stars start as a replacement for Andy Yiadom at right back.
- Captain Andre Ayew and striker Jordan Ayew are also expected to remain in the XI along with Thomas Partey who has had a subpar tournament so far.
- Ajax starlet, Kudus Mohammed will miss the match as he still hasn’t joined the team in Cameroon yet.
If the last match for the Black Stars against Gabon was described as a must-win, tonight’s game against Comoros is an absolute-must-win.
Milovan Rajevac’s side would have hoped that a Round of 16 spot would have been sealed before their third group game when the AFCON groups were revealed.
On the other hand, if the Black Stars needed a win to guarantee a place in the next round, Comoros would certainly have been their preferred opponents.
Having come into AFCON 2021 as Group C’s weakest team on paper, Comoros have absolutely lived up to that tag, losing their first two matches.
The Black Stars head into the game extremely confident of picking up a win but confidence does not always translate into results.
Despite the losses, Comoros have not been blown away in their games against Gabon and Morocco and, even though they are overwhelming underdogs against Ghana, they’ll certainly fancy their chances against a Black Stars side that has struggled to get a good rhythm going at AFCON 2021.
Ghana have scored one goal so far in Cameroon – an Andre Ayew belter against Gabon – and it’s been their failure to create enough clear-cut chances and score the ones they do create that cost them in the loss to Morocco and the heartbreaking draw with Gabon.
The Black Stars might pick up a win tonight but the three points might not guarantee qualification.
Ghanaians are used to relying on “calculations” to make it through the group stage of competitions by now but subjecting them to more uncertainty when you are trying to “bring back the love” might not be the best move.
All eyes should be on Milovan Rajevac’s boys tonight, but I imagine a few eyeballs will be darting back and forth across the other groups to make sure it’s not all in vain.
WHAT THEY SAID
Black Stars head coach, Milovan Rajevac
“It’s a very important game for us. We need to finish the group with a win and will do everything to guarantee this happening. Our team develops well but we need time and patience.”
Black Stars defender, Jonathan Mensah
“We will give our best because this is a must-win for us. We have no internal problems. All the games are difficult. As a veteran player, my role is to help the new faces. We will fight for our national jersey.”
Comoros head coach, Amir Abdou
“The game is very important for us. We had two good games against Gabon and Morocco, but luck was not on our side. I told the players to consider this as if it was the final. Ghana is a very good team, but we will do our best. We have nothing to lose, and we must be strong and brave.”
Comoros head coach, Said Bakari
“We will give our all. We need to play more competitions like this and increase our experience. This is the greatest event we have been to. We will show the good side of Comoros.”
- The Black Stars have won five of their last 12 matches
- They have also lost four and drawn three in that time.
- Ghana have scored 11 goals in their last 12 matches and conceded 10
- The Black Stars have won just one of their last six group stage games at the Africa Cup of Nations (D2 L2).
- Ghana have only won one of their last eight Africa Cup of Nations games (D4 L3), failing to score in half of those matches.
- The Black stars last failed to progress from their AFCON group in 2006.
- Nine of Ghana’s last 13 goals (70%) at the Africa Cup of Nations have been scored by brothers André (5) or Jordan (4) Ayew
- Comoros could become the fifth team to fail to score a single group stage goal in their debut Africa Cup of Nations tournament, after Burundi (2019), Gabon (1994), Sierra Leone (1994) and Mozambique (1986).
- Comoros are searching for their first goal at AFCON 2021, having failed to score against Gabon and Morocco
Head to head
- This will be the first encounter between Ghana and Comoros at the Africa Cup of Nations.
- The Black Stars have played against Comoros twice.
- Comoros have never beaten the Black Stars while Ghana have won one of their two encounters.
- Comoros have never scored against Ghana but conceded twice against the Black Stars in the FIFA World Cup Qualifier in 2015.
Kick-Off: 19:00 GMT (7pm Ghana) (21:00 CAT)
Venue: Roumde Adjia Stadium, Garoua