Following the trend ahead of Gabon vs. Ghana
Gabon face Ghana in Group C of the Africa Cup of Nations on Friday evening in looking to kick on from their 1-0 win over Comoros in the first round of fixtures. A late Sofiane Boufal strike saw Morocco edge past Ghana late on with the North Africans turning the screw late on in the encounter. Comoros are clear outsiders in the group, competing in their first ever AFCON but will provide stiff opposition for Ghana in matchday three. The Black Stars will be hoping to pick up a victory here, and they are strong favourites to do so, to avoid any anxiety of falling out of the competition altogether heading into the final round of group fixtures.
Ghana are not quite as strong as the side that was desperately unfortunate to go out at the quarter final stage of the 2010 World Cup, but they certainly have the attacking talent and defensively resolve to earn a crucial three points. Andre Ayew is their talisman and operates in the number ten role with his brother Jordan Ayew leading the line.
Rennes forward Kamaldeen Sulemana could be one of the stars of the future for Ghana, and if his performances at club level are anything to go by, the 19-year-old can have a crucial part to play as the tournament progresses. Arsenal’s Thomas Partey seems to have stagnated a touch in his club career with injuries seeing him struggle to improve since leaving Atletico Madrid, but he is a huge player for Ghana in holding it all together in central midfield.
Reading full backs Andy Yiadom and Abdul-Rahman Baba can contribute in the attacking third, but also make up one of the strongest backlines in the competition with Leicester City’s Daniel Amartey.
Gabon star man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has tested positive for coronavirus which means some of the attacking burden will be shouldered by winger Denis Bouanga. The 27-year-old has scored 22 goals in French football since the start of the 2019/20 season and has been one of the shining lights in a very tough period for sleeping giants St Etienne.
It is a very evenly matched encounter as has more or less every fixture proved so far in the tournament. Therefore, with little to separate the teams I am happy to dip into the Asian goal line to provide some insurance but also value in this selection.