Ghana AFCON 2023 squad reaction: Can Black Stars finally break a 41 year duck?

As Ghana travel to Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations 2023, no player among them will remember their last AFCON triumph, all the way back in 1982 in Libya. Of sides at this year’s tournament, only DR Congo have had a longer drought.

Could Mohamed Kudus fire Ghana to a first win in 42 years? – Photo by Icon sport

Latest Ghana AFCON 2023 outright odds

Ghana AFCON 2023 squad review

The biggest conversation around Ghana is usually Thomas Partey and his fitness. We did not include him in our starting lineup prediction for exactly this reason, but there was hope the Arsenal man may recover in time to play a role. 

Partey has struggled for fitness this season – Photo by Icon sport

Ghana boss Chris Hughton described Partey’s hamstring injury as “the biggest injury that he has had” and that “the most important thing for me as head coach and our association is to give him the support that he needs through this period of time.”

PAOK left-back Baba Rahman is another notable absentee, ruling himself out to focus on club football.

Full Ghana AFCON 2023 squad

Goalkeepers:

 Lawrence Ati-Zigi (St Gallen)

Richard Ofori (Orlando Pirates)

Joe Wollacott (Hibernian).

Defenders: 

Daniel Amartey (Leicester City)

Alexander Djiku (Fenerbahce)

Abdul Fatawu Hamidu (Medeama)

Gideon Mensah (Auxerre)

Denis Odoi (Club Bruges)

Nicholas Opoku (Amiens)

Mohammed Salisu (Monaco)

Kingsley Schindler (Samsunspor)

Alidu Seidu (Clermont Foot)

Midfielders: 

Majeed Ashimeru (Anderlecht)

Osman Bukari (Red Star Belgrade)

Baba Iddrisu (Mallorca)

Ransford Konigsdorffer (Hamburg)

Mohammed Kudus (West Ham)

Richmond Lamptey (Asante Kotoko)

Elisha Owusu (Auxerre)

Joseph Paintsil (Genk)

Salis Abdul Samed (Lens)

Forwards:

Andre Ayew (Le Havre)

Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace)

Ernest Nuamah (RWD Molenbeek)

Antoine Semenyo (Bournemouth)

Jonathan Sowah (Medeama)

Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao)

Surprise inclusions

There are relatively few shock selections in Ghana’s squad, such is Chris Hughton’s safety-first approach. Perhaps the only surprise is the selection of Andre Ayew. The 34-year-old has given many years of service to Ghana, but his years are beginning to catch up to him. He has not scored a goal since 2022, and has played just 34 minutes this season.

In-form players

Antoine Semenyo has been in fine form – Photo by Icon sport

Everyone knows how good Mohamed Kudus is after his explosive start to life at West Ham, but another Ghanaian lighting up the Premier League is Antoine Semenyo. The 23-year-old speedster has three goals and an assist this season, despite playing mostly at left-back.

Over in Spain, Iñaki Williams has been prolific, with eight goals and three assists so far for Athletic Bilbao. The 29-year-old scored his first Ghana goal in November and will hope to carry his form into this tournament.

Tactical analysis

Ghana’s first match will be against Cape Verde. The islanders cruised through qualification, but have won just two of their last six. There is a quality gap between them and Ghana, and Cape Verde will be hoping that former Man United wonderkid Bebe can produce some magic for them.

Mohamed Salah, best in the world? – Photo by Icon sport

Second are tournament heavyweights Egypt. Ghana have a superior overall quality to their squad, but the Pharaohs probably boast the best player in the world this season in Mohamed Salah. The Liverpool man has 14 goals and eight assists in the Premier League this campaign, and can easily win games on his own. A win over Egypt would be a statement of intent from the Ghana.

Ghana’s final group game comes against Mozambique, who sit 50 places below them in FIFA’s world rankings. However, the south-east African side do boast three wins in their last four, and tenacious Atletico Madrid defender Reinildo, so will be no pushovers.

Current odds

Despite their pedigree, the Black Stars are ninth favourite to win AFCON, at 14/1. Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew is 14/1 to finish as top scorer.

Ghana AFCON trivia

Ghana have a footballing dynasty in the Ayew family. Brothers Jordan and Andre make this squad, and their father Abedi was voted the third-best African player of the century. Older brother Ibrahim represented Ghana at the 2010 World Cup.

Only DR Congo are on a longer AFCON drought of sides at this year’s tournament than Ghana

Chris Hughton has managed Brighton and Newcastle – Photo by Icon sport

Manager Chris Hughton is the only former Premier League boss at AFCON 2023.

With an appearance at this tournament, Andre Ayew will equal Ahmed Hassan and Rigobert Song’s record of eight AFCON tournaments.

Despite not winning AFCON since 1982, only Egypt have won more games in the history of AFCON than Ghana.


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William Evans

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.