Ghana coach Charles Akonnor is expected to ring changes to his starting XI that fell 3-0 to Mali at the Emir Hotel Sports Complex on Friday evening against Asian Championship champions in Ghana’s second international game since the coronavirus pandemic but, it would be Qatar’s first international game since December 2019.
Team news and stats ahead of Ghana vs Qatar in their international friendly at the Mardan Sports Complex on Monday (kick-off 5pm Ghana time).
The West African powerhouse have not gone head-to-head with the West Asian side since time immemorial and the four-time Africa Cup of Nations winners will be hoping to chalk success over their opponents in the duel.
Kick Off: 5PM Ghana Time
LIVE Telecast: GTV Sports+ and GTV
Radio Commentary: Dan Kwaku Yeboah on Peace FM.
Charles Akonnor’s side has been hit by one major injury ahead of the game with France-based central defender Nicholas Opoku sustaining an injury in the 3-0 loss to Mali. The Amiens defender joins Lumor Agbenyenu, John Antwi, Kudus Mohammed, Richard Ofori and Jeffrey Schlupp who all failed to honour the invitations for multiple reasons.
In as much as Akonnor is using the game as a precursor for upcoming AFCON qualifiers in the next international break against Sudan he will be eager to watch his side nick victory to restore confidence and vibe to his side. Ghana face Sudan in their Group C fixture and have games against ão Tomé and Príncipe as well as South Africa. The Black Stars lead Group C table a 100 percent record from two games while Qatar continue their uplifting long-term preparations as host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Amiens defender Nicholas Opoku is reportedly out of the clash after picking an injury during the second-half of the 3-0 humbling against Mali on Friday. Aside the 22-year-old, the rest of Akonnor’s men have been given the all clear to play if they are selected for the clash. Celta de Vigo defender Joseph Aidoo is likely to fill the void created by the absence of Opoku. The former Nantes player is a French youth international after representing the European powerhouse at U16, U17, U18, U19 and U20 levels. Brentford forward Tariqe Fosu, Caleb Ekuban and Joseph Attamah are all training with the side. No Ghana player has tested positive for the coronavirus which means that Charles Akonnor is free to select any of his invitees to start the game. The Ghana Football Association have predicted starting berths for Joseph Attamah, Baba Iddrisu and Caleb Ekuban.
What the coach said: Akonnor discredited his Mali counterpart Mohamed Magassouba in his post-match reaction: “I won’t blame the players for the defeat but the key thing which resulted our loss to Mali was that the team was not organized.” The players didn’t know themselves because most of them were debutantes and even the first time they’re playing together.” Mali didn’t play anything extraordinary but they were an organized side which handed them the victory.”
Head Coach Felix Sanchez has done an amazing job by turning an ordinary side into a Championship winning team in the lead up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Qatar won the 2019 Asian Championship with an unbeaten run, conceding just a goal and scoring 19 in the process of annexing the ultimate.
- Ghana conceded goal(s) for the first time since July 2019 (Ghana 1-1 Tunisia) in the 3-0 loss to Mali on Friday. The defeat spelt a decisive end to the 3-game clean sheet record held under previous coach James Kwasi Appiah.
- Qatar have not drawn in any of their last 5 competitive fixtures. (W3 L2).
- Felix Sanchez’s side have scored 12 goals and conceded just 2 of their 5 games, including a 6-0 romping of Yemen in November 2019. (+10)
- Ghana have scored 6 goals and conceded 4 in their last 5 games. (+2)
- Ghana’s 3-0 loss to Mali on Friday is a new low in 10 years. The Black Stars had not lost by a 3-goal margin since June 2010.
- Qatar have recorded 6-0 wins twice in their last 10 games since makes them a scary goal-scoring machine.
- They went on a 6-game winning spree in 2019 until they were halted by Iraq in a 2-1 reverse in the Gulf Cup of Nations.
- Qatar’s last two losses have come against Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
- 29-year-old Al Saad forward Hassan Al Haydos is currently the most experienced player in the side having played 131 games and scoring 27 times for Qatar.
Ghana’s Probable XI vs Qatar: Razak Abalora – Tariqe Fosu, Gideon Mensah, Joseph Aidoo, Kasim Nuhu – Alexander Djiku, Baba Iddrisu, Thomas Partey, Samuel Owusu – Andre Ayew (C), Jordan Ayew.
Prediction: Ghana 1-2 Qatar
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