World Rank: 32nd
World Cup History: Second Round (2006)
Manager: Milovan Rajevac
In what is becoming a recurring trend with African teams, Ghana will be without its number one player.
Another fallen Chelsea star midfielder Michael Essien will be out due to injury. The loss of their star player could be costly for the surprise team from 2006.
Unlike most African nations the backbone of the Ghana squad is none other than their goalkeeper.
Wigan Athletic keeper Richard Kingson has solidified himself as Ghana’s number net minder and was instrumental in their qualifying bid, making key stops throughout the tournament.
The heavy foot of Inter Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari has raged havoc on goaltenders across Europe; he will undoubtedly unleash that same power on the World stage.
Though at times he has been at odds with the Ghana Football Association, his talent is undeniable. His ability to make plays on almost any ball makes him extremely dangerous and difficult to defend.
The ability to distribute from the wings toward the strikers will be the focus for the world class midfield Ghana possesses. The ability to create shots for the forwards is crucial for the Ghana attack.
Their importance isn’t only on the offensive side of the ball as their defence has proven to be a primary reason for success. They qualified by winning four straight matches without conceding a goal.
With a glaring drop in talent from their midfield to up front there will be trouble for the forwards to create opportunities for themselves.
There are a number of positions that have hampered Ghana in the past and until those leaks are patched up goals won’t come easy.
With the loss of Essien the Black Stars will have a daunting task as their lack of depth could be exposed.
Having made it to the round-of-16 in their maiden trip to the World Cup in 2006 the Ghana team has high aspirations to go where no African team has gone before.
Obviously that’s only into the quarter-final but it would be a great accomplishment especially with this team’s lack of star play up front could be difficult to deal with.
But with the draw Ghana will be hard pressed to repeat the performance from 2006 as they will be grouped with Germany, Serbia and unheralded Australia.
Failing to make it to at least the second round could be epic as they would be considered the home team in almost every match.