Stars coach tips Stars to outshine Gabon

BY: Bernard Neequaye
The Black Star at training ahead of today's clash with Gabon
The Black Star at training ahead of today's clash with Gabon

Black Stars coach, Milovan Rajevac, has hinted that skipper Andre Ayew is fit to start against Gabon in the second Group C clash in the ongoing 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde at 7p.m tonight.

Coach Rajevac said he allowed Ayew to sit out of training in the past few days to help him recover from his knock and put him in shape for today’s encounter with the Panthers of Gabon.

“Andre was allowed to miss training yesterday to enable him rest ahead of our game with Gabon but everything is in place for him to come back.

“He will be fit to play today but I don’t like talking about my selections before matches so let’s wait and see what happens,” Coach Milo said at yesterday’s press conference.

Ghana face a make-or-break game against the Gabonese, knowing that defeat to the Central African side could end their dreams at the tournament.

Firm assurance

The Serbian trainer gave the assurance that the Stars were ready to work harder and come out victorious.

Gabon and Morocco are on three points each, with Comoros and Ghana trailing them without a point after losing their respective opening group matches.

The fitness of Ayew remains a boost to the Stars chances as the 32-year-old midfielder makes his seventh AFCON appearance after participating in the 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2019 editions.

Coach Rajevac is expected to make some changes to the side that lost to Morocco, with the likes of Mubarak Wakaso, Fatawu Issahaku and Richmond Boakye-Yiadom being possible starters in today’s encounter.

Comparatively, Ghana have a head-to-head advantage with two wins and one defeat from three meetings against Gabon.

However, Gabon will come into the game with the hope of securing at least a point against the wounded Ghanaian side to stand a chance of securing qualification from Group C.

The Panthers will be inspired by the return of their captain and Arsenal star, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, and Mario Lemina of Nice who missed their first match after testing positive for COVID-19.

That notwithstanding, Coach Patrice Neveu confirmed that some of his players had reportedly returned positive COVID-19 cases and would miss the Ghana fixture.

“The return of Aubameyang and Lemina will add quality to our team, especially where they are coming up against a side like Ghana.

“We will also miss some players due to COVID-19, but I don’t think that will affect our chances in anyway,” said Neveu.