Midfielder Alhassan Wakaso and defender Andy Yiadom have been handed debut Ghana call ups for 2018 FIFA World Cup clash with Egypt on Sunday, 13 November 2016 in Alexandria. Wakaso of Portuguese side, Rio Ave and Yiadom of English second-tier side, Barnsley were the only new faces named by Ghana coach Avram Grant in his 23-man squad for the must-win game against the Pharaohs. The sad news is that captain Asamoah Gyan will play no part due to injury.
The Black Stars began training in Dubai on Monday to prepare for this weekend’s World Cup qualifying match. All 21 players who are currently in camp participated in the training sessions, and coach Grant is set to intensify training in the coming days. Ghana will be chasing their first win in Group E of the qualifiers after drawing against Uganda last month.
Former Argentine footballer and manager of the Egyptian national team, Héctor Cúper has picked the same group of players who beat Congo in their opening qualifier in October. The squad is headed by Roma winger Mohamed Salah and Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny. The Pharaos are attempting to reach their first World Cup since 1990. There is huge optimisim in the Egypt with fans expecting the Pharaohs to triumph, but Cúper is cautious, insisting that he is “no magician”. Ghana crushed Egypt 6-1 in the first leg of a 2014 World Cup play-off and now the Pharaos are thirsting for revenge.
At the moment, the Egyptians are leading the Group E with three points – two more than second-placed Ghana and Uganda, with Congo bottom of the table.
The two heavyweights will meet at the Borg El-Arab Stadium in Alexandria and Egyptian authorities have announced 75,000 fans will be allowed to attend. The match will begin at 18:00.
Both teams announced their full squad for the match:
Goalkeepers: Razak Braimah (Cordoba, Spain), Adam Kwarasey (Rosenborg, Norway) Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars)
Defenders: Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew, USA), Andy Yiadom (Barnsley, England), Baba Rahman (Schalke, Germany), Jeffery Schlupp (Leicester City, England), John Boye (Sivasspor, Turkey), Jonathan Mensah (Anzhi, Russia), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City, England), Edwin Gyimah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa)
Midfielders: Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Afriyie Acquah (Torino, Italy), Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid, Spain) Mubarak Wakaso (Panathinaikos, Greece), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium), Christian Atsu (Newcastle, England), Alhassan Wakaso (Rio Ave, Portugal), Samuel Tetteh (Leifering, Austria)
Forwards: Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa, England), Abdul-Majeed Waris (Lorient, France), Andre Ayew (West Ham, England), Ebenezer Assifuah (Sion, Switzerland)
Goalkeepers: Essam El-Hadary (Wadi Degla), Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly), Ahmed El-Shennawy (Zamalek)
Defenders: Ahmed Hegazy (Al Ahly), Ahmed Fathy (Al Ahly), Ahmed Dweidar (Zamalek), Ali Gabr (Zamalek), Hamada Tolba (Al Masry), Mohamed Abdel-Shafy (Ahli Jeddah, Saudi Arabia), Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull City, England), Omar Gaber (FC Basel, Switzerland)
Midfielders: Abdallah El-Said (Al Ahly), Momen Zakaria (Al Ahly), Ibrahim Salah (Zamalek), Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Mostafa Fathy (Zamalek), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal, England), Mahmoud Hassan (Mouscron, Belgium), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City, England), Mohamed Salah (AS Roma, Italy), Amr Warda (Panetolikos, Greece)
Forwards: Bassem Morsi (Zamalek), Ahmed Hassan Koka (SC Braga, Portugal)