Ghana vs Benin Preview

André Morgan Rami Ayew, also known as Dede Ayew in Ghana

The second encounter in Group F sees a David vs Goliath match as powerhouse Ghana take on minnows Benin in Ismailia on Tuesday night. 

AFCON 2019 
Ghana vs Benin    
Tuesday 25 June 
Ismailia Stadium   
22:00


To Win 
Ghana 6/10
Draw 26/10
Benin 47/10

Ghana

Ghana have been installed as second favourites behind hosts Egypt for AFCON 2019 at 6/1. Kwesi Appiah’s men topped their qualifying group with nine points, two more than Kenya, with three wins from four matches. They comfortably beat Ethiopia twice – winning 5-0 at home and 2-0 away – and edged out Kenya 1-0 – who beat them by the same scoreline six months prior – in their final qualifier to clinch top spot and book their ticket to an eighth AFCON tournament in succession.

Appiah’s men will be going in search of a first continental title since 1978, having come close in making the semi-finals at the last six tournaments and reaching the final in 2010 and 2015. The Black Stars, who are four-time champions of Africa's premier cup competition, boast a squad dominated by European-based players, headlined by Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey and the Ayew brothers, Jordan and Andre.

Ghana will be desperate to end their 37-year wait for the title and with a squad bulging with talent, they have every chance of doing so. The Black Stars will look to start their AFCON campaign on a winning note and anything less than victory for Appiah’s men here will be disheartening and things could go awry. 

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Benin

Competing in a group with two of Africa's powerhouses, Ghana and Cameroon, and Guinea-Bissau who topped their qualifying campaign, Benin’s best hopes of advancing to the Round of 16 is probably being one of the four best third-placed teams, but even that seems unlikely as they’ll be seen as the whipping boys of the group.

The Squirrels will be looking to upset the odds against Ghana and send out a massive statement, and they showed that they’re capable of doing so when claiming an impressive 1-0 victory over Algeria in their qualifying group. The Desert Warriors still pipped them to top spot in Group D, but only by a mere point. 

Benin know very well that Ghana are overwhelming favourites in this match, but that was also the case when these sides met in the 2010 World Cup Qualifier and despite the Black Stars having players like Stephen Appiah, Michael Essien and Asamoah Gyan, it was the Squirrels who came out on top in that game thanks to an 89th minute strike from Mohamed Aoudou. Getting something from this game won’t be easy, but make no mistake, Benin will give it their all.

Prediction: Ghana (6/10)
Benin won’t be pushovers, but with the quality Ghana possess, I fancy the Black Stars to get the job done. 

Written by Chad Nagel

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