Stars to outshine Kenya today

BY: Peter Sarbah
Thomas Partey — Black Stars’ stand-in captain
Thomas Partey — Black Stars’ stand-in captain

Ghana’s Black Stars will embark on an ambitious task of silencing the Harambee Stars of Kenya when they clash in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Nairobi today.

Even before the game starts, the head coach of Kenya, Sebastian Migne, has admitted his team are the underdogs in this encounter but would not be cowed by their modest status to be overrun by Ghana in front of their home fans.

Similarly, Ghana coach, Kwasi Appiah, does not feel overwhelmed by the Black Stars’ pedigree but has instead promised to treat this game with the utmost seriousness to make Ghanaians proud after the game.

Victory could consolidate Ghana’s gain at the summit of the league table after thrashing Ethiopia 5-0 last year, ahead of second-placed Sierra Leone, Kenya and Ethiopia who follow in that order in Group F.

The Black Stars remain favourites in this encounter, but Coach Appiah’s major concern is how to counter the strategy of his opponents due to the new set of players the Kenyan gaffer has invited for the game.

Equally worrying for Coach Appiah is the fact that he would miss the services of his dependable centre-backs, John Boye and Nuhu Kassim, due to injury. But Rashid Sumaila, who was drafted into the team at the eleventh hour, could partner Daniel Amartey to provide a solid cover at the rear.

Despite this setback, Coach Appiah is certain that the return of playmaker, Kwadwo Asamoah, could boost the morale of his team to outshine the Harambee Stars.

On the other hand, Coach Migne is still brooding over the absence of Tottenham Hotspur star, Victor Wanyama, which has created a gap, leaving the Frenchman with a headache to find a suitable replacement for his trusted midfielder.

Appiah expected to name  team comprising  Richard Ofori in post, defenders Daniel Opare and Harrison Afful, midfielders Kwadwo Asamoah, Chrisitan Atsu, Thomas Partey and Frank Acheampong to support the attacking duo of Majeed Waris and Raphael Dwamena to ensure victory for Ghana.