Black stars Vs Harambee stars combined 10: How the two sides compare ahead of AFCON qualifier

By Brian Murumba: Friday, March 22nd 2019 at 14:17 GMT +3 | Sports
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When Ghana national team head coach Kwesi Appiah and his counterpart Sébastien Migné named their respective squads for the AFCON qualifier slated for tomorrow, many Kenyan and Ghanaian fans expected big names.

There were, however, some who were left disappointed as some of the star names were omitted. On the Ghanaian side, 2010 quarterfinalist Asamoah Gyan missed out while Jesse Were was left out of the Harambee Stars squad.

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Despite major omissions, every side strives to include a couple of star players in their squads, which was definitely the case when the two lists came out.

Game Yetu now looks at five Black Stars and five Harambee Stars to watch ahead of the mouthwatering clash that win be played on Saturday at the 40,000 capacity seater Ohene Gjan Sports Stadium in Accra.

Ghana

Coach Appiah isn’t taking any chances ahead of this encounter. He made his intentions known when he named a strong 24-man squad dominated by Europe-based stars. He only afforded three spots for locally based players.

Here are the five Black Stars to watch as the clock ticks towards tomorrow’s match.

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Thomas Partey

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The Atletico Madrid star is one of the best players in Appiah’s squad and one of the chosen few deemed indispensable by the tactician. The Atletico man is set to walk right into the team despite the arrival of some old and experienced faces this time.

The combative midfielder is known for his physical style and Appiah will be counting on him to pull the strings from the middle of the park.

Mubarak Wakaso

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The 28-year-old Alaves midfielder is one of the players many Ghanaian fans will be hoping to see on the field on Saturday.

He has helped Alaves to 5th place in the La Liga table and if his Spanish exploits are anything to go by, then Ghana have sizzling talent in their squad.

Andre Ayew

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After his struggles in the Premier League with Swansea prior to their relegation in the 2017-18 season, the Fenerbache forward is among the Black Stars who need to work hard to convince the manager. This call up will act as an assessment for him but with his current form in Turkey, he remains a strong contender for a big role.

Kwadwo Asamoah

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This fan-favourite has not played for the Black Stars for a very long time due to his poor fitness record.

The Inter Milan star has however recovered and has been good in his campaign in the Serie A.

Jeffrey Schlupp

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The versatile Crystal Palace man didn’t make to the national team before thanks to his poor form in England last season.

However, with a better record this time that has seen him bag four goals and one assist in 26 games for his club, there is hope.

Kenya

The omission of Jesse Were is the most notable one in the Harambee Stars squad perhaps due to the nasty reactions by Kenyan fans after coach Sebastien Migne’s decision.

The absence of star striker Michael Olunga has also left Kenyan fans a bit ‘uneasy’ since most consider him to be among the few players capable of tearing the Ghana defence apart.

Japan-based forward is out with injury but will undoubtedly walk back into the squad in the next international break should he be fit and available.

Kenyan fans boast a number of stars in the squad including:

Victor Wanyama

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The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder is one of the best players Kenya has ever exported to Europe.

He has struggled with injuries which have cost him a place in the Spurs’ squad.

But fit-again Wanyama will hope to avoid any more injuries in his quest to fire his country past these mighty Ghanaians.

Patrick Matasi

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The former Tusker FC custodian is one of the most experienced players in the Stars squad and the manager will be counting on him to keep the Black Star guns at bay.

Allan Wanga

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The 33-year old’s peak days may be behind him but he still has skills that could be useful in Accra on Saturday.

He recently graduated with a Diploma in Human Resource Management from the University of Nairobi, signalling his preparation to end his decorated football career.

He will be tasked with filling in for the injured Olunga and his experience in attack will have fans licking their lips prior to the match.

 

Ismael Gonzalez

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The UD Las Palmas midfielder hit the Kenyan sports headlines when he earned his first international call up in 2016.

Although not a regular in the starting 11, Kenyans will be hoping to have a glance at their Spain-based star when the team walks out of the tunnel in Accra.

Paul Were

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The winger has played with several Kenya Premier League clubs where he made his name before heading out to seek greener pastures.

His strength on the wings provides serious firepower for the Harambee Stars who will be looking to keep the Ghanaians in their own half and cushion their defence from 

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