Ghana’s search for a first Africa Cup of Nations crown since 1982 kicks off on Tuesday evening with a Group F encounter with Benin at the Ismailia Stadium on Tuesday.
Regarded as one of the powerhouses of African football, the Black Stars have won the Nations Cup four times, only Egypt (7) and Cameroon (5) have won more.
However, the last time they were crowned champions was 37 years ago in Libya. Since then, the Black Stars have lost four finals with the recent one in 2015 when they were beaten by Ivory Coast despite taking a 2-0 lead in the penalty shootout.
The Black Stars finished top of their qualifying group ahead of Kenya, Ethiopia and disqualified Sierra Leone.
Kwesi Appiah’s squad contains notable figures including brothers Andre and Jordan Ayew, Asamoah Gyan, Kwadwo Asamoah and Thomas Partey. The majority of the players were in the squad that finished fourth in Gabon two years ago.
Benin qualified for this year’s Afcon by finishing second in a group with Algeria, Gambia and Togo. This is the first appearance since 2010 for the Squirrels and they are still yet to make it past the group stage.
The Squirrels, who are led by coach Michel Dussuyer will feature the likes of Stephane Sessegnon and Steve Mounie, qualified as runners-up behind Algeria in their preliminary group.
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah: Since we arrived everything has been going well, I believe tomorrow’s game will be very competitive and we are fully prepared.
Benin coach Michel Dussuyer: We are ready for Ghana and we know it will be a tough game. We are going to fave a talented team and we will do our best to win. We know it will be a tough game and we’re poised to play well against Ghana and believe we can have a good result if we play well.
What is the kick-off time of Ghana vs Benin?
The match is scheduled for 20:00 GMT on June 25.
What is the head to head record of Ghana vs Benin?
Ghana have won two, drawn one and lost one of four meetings with Benin.
Team News: Who is available, injured or suspended for Ghana vs Benin?
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has all 23 players available for the match.
Six players, Thomas Partey, Jordan Ayew, Andre Ayew, Mubarak Wakaso Christian Atsu and John Boye who featured in the semi-final defeat to Cameroon in 2017, could start on Tuesday.
For Benin, they will be without star man Stephane Sessegnon, who is serving a three-match suspension.
Predicted starting XI
Ghana: Richard Ofori – Andy Yiadom, Lumor Agbeyenu, John Boye, Kassim Nuhu, Kwadwo Asamoah, Thomas Partey, Christian Atsu, Thomas Agyepong, Andre Dede Ayew, Jordan Ayew
Benin: Fabien Farnolle, Enangon David Kiki, Olivier Verdon, Khaled Adénon, Moise Adilehou, Seidou Bazare, Mickaël Poté, Seibou Mama, Jordan Adeoti, Cebio Soukou, Steve Mounie.
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