Soccer News of Thursday, 17 January 2013
Ghana go into Group B as widely tipped favourites to win their group and are serious contenders to win the tournamnet. The ‘Black Stars’ have a pool of talent available at their disposal including the likes of Asamoah Gyan, John Pantsil, Kwadwo Asamoah, Wakaso, etc who all have European League experience as well as Derek Boateng who is on the verge of a move to Fulham.
However, star men, Kevin-Prince Boateng, John Mensah, Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and Andre Ayew have all been axed from the squad.
Fighting for second are likely to be Mali and Congo DR. Both sides have an abundance of pace and power in their sides. Mali have Premier league duo Modibo Maiga and Samba Diakite, from West ham and QPR respectively, are in their final 23 man squad but an injury to former captain and Fulham midfielder Mahamadou Diarra will be a blow. Despite not playing for over two-years, former Liverpool and Juventus ace Momo Sissoko did make the 23 man cut. Congo will be resting their hopes of success on maverick captain Tresor Mputu, he was once banned for 12 months for physically assaulting a referee, playing for Congo.
Niger qualified for their first finals last year and will be hoping to go one better this time out and make it out of the group stage.