The wait is almost over and in just under 48 hours England will take to the field to play Ghana at Wembley. Both teams warmed up for the game with comfortable wins in their respective continental qualifying games. Ghana were quite Impressive in beating Congo 3-0 in Brazzaville whilst England were expected to beat Wales and did so without much fuss.
With the qualifiers out of the way both teams can concentrate on tomorrow’s game. But which players are likely to be playing? Well we already know that five English players (John Terry, Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney, Michael Dawson & Frank Lampard) have been released by manager Fabio Capello and will not feature in the match.
This news may disappoint some Ghanaian fans as they would want to see the ‘best’ English players play. However established premier league players such as Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Gareth Barry (who has just been named captain) will feature and the cream of young English talent; Jack Wilshire, Ashley Young and Joe Hart are still in the squad so it will still be a test for the Black stars.
So what about the Black stars? Michael Essien we know is out of the party as he continues his controversial exile from International football. Whilst KPB (Kevin Prince Boateng) has not yet recovered from an ankle injury so will also miss out. So Black stars Coach Goran Stevanovic will have to name his starting 11 from the following pool of players;
Goalkeepers: Richard Kingson (Blackpool, England), Sammy Adjei (Hearts of Oak, Ghana) Ernest Sowah (Berekum Chelsea, Ghana)
Defenders: John Paintsil (Fulham, England) Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) Daniel Opare (Standard Liege, Belgium) David Addy (Academica Coimbra, Portugal) Jonathan Mensah (Granada, Spain) Isaac Vorsah (Hoffenheim, Germany) John Mensah (Sunderland, England) Lee Addy (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia)
Midfielders: Anthony Annan (Schalke 04, Germany), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Bernard Kumordzi (Panionios, Greece) Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese, Italy) Sulley Muntari (Sunderland, England) Derek Boateng (Getafe, Spain) Andre Ayew (Marseille, France) Opoku Agyemang (Al-Ahli, Saudi Arabia)
Attackers: Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland, England) Prince Tagoe (Partizan Belgrade, Serbia) Dominic Adiyiah (Partizan Belgrade, Serbia) Nathaniel Asamoah (Asante Kotoko, Ghana)
As you can see that is a pretty strong squad and I am tipping the boss to start with Gyan and Prince Tagoe (Who scored against Congo) alongside him in attack. I am also excited to see my two favourite players, Anthony Annan and Kwadwo Asamoah playing as for me they are the heart beat of the Ghanaian side.
There is sure to be a lot of young footballing talent on show on both sides and it could be an open and exciting match. My Money is on a Ghana victory (obviously!) though I am sure we won’t lose whatever the result it’s gonna be a celebration regardless. If not for the result of the match, then a celebration of how far the national squad has come over the last five years since our very first world cup in 2006.
Ben JK Anim-Antwi.