Ghana begin their qualifying campaign for the 2026 World Cup this week as they take on Madagascar and Comoros in Group I. The Black Stars have become regular attendees at World Cups in recent times and have qualified for four of the last five editions. Expectations have risen within the Ghanaian FA and with supporters so anything other than a successful qualifying campaign will be deemed a failure.
The upcoming qualifying campaign will give Chris Hughton his first taste of World Cup qualifying as the head coach after the Ex-Brighton boss replaced Otto Addo earlier this year. The draw could have been kinder to Hughton, however, there is no reason why they can't get off to a quick start in Group I. Here are three reasons why the perfect start is on the cards for the Black Stars.
Ghana 2026 FIFA World Cup betting: Three reasons why the Black Stars will win their opening two matches
Ghana are ranked higher than Madagascar and Comoros
In recent years, Ghana have slipped down the official FIFA world rankings which resulted in them being placed in pot two when the African World Cup Qualification draw was made earlier this year. They were the team that everyone in pot one wanted to avoid while those below them knew that a group of death awaited should they be pulled alongside Ghana.
In Group I, just nine places separate Ghana and pot one side, Mali, but the gap between Ghana and the team drawn from pot three, Madagascar, is far more significant at 45 places. The gap between Ghana and Comoros is even larger at 71 places which demonstrates just how large the gulf in class is between Ghana and their first two opponents. Providing they play close to their top level, the cream should rise to the top.
Ghana are in good form
Ever since Chris Hughton took charge of the Ghana national team, they have enjoyed an upturn in form. In four competitive matches, all of which were played in qualifying for the African Cup of Nations, the Black Stars are unbeaten which bodes well for them heading into their open set of World Cup qualifiers.
Out of those four matches, Ghana enjoyed home victories over Angola and Central African Republic and away draws with Madagascar and Angola. Their opening match of qualifying is a home tie with Madagascar and Hughton's men will be out for revenge after the aforementioned draw while the away tie with Comoros presents the 62-year-old with a golden chance to get his first win away from home as Ghana boss.
Mohammed Kudus is coming into form at the right time
Mohammed Kudus is the star of the show for Ghana and has won their Player of the Year award for the past two years running. Kudus made the decision to leave Ajax for West Ham in the summer after proving to be a hit for the Dutch giants over the past couple of seasons and initially started slowly in East London.
However, in recent weeks the real Mohammed Kudus has begun to show up in Claret and Blue. He has scored two goals in his last four outings for West Ham with the 23-year-old finding the back of the net in matches against Brentford and Arsenal. Kudus will be looking to continue this form into the international break and if he can then Ghana should be well set to get two wins on the board.