PREVIEW: Ghana vs Cape VerdePREVIEW:

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations kicks off this weekend in earnest with what appears to be relatively straightforward matches for the established teams against their unfancied opponents.

On paper, the second Group B match of the tournament between Ghana and Cape Verde at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan should be a forgone conclusion. On paper, that is. The island nation has turned into a tough opponent to deal with this century, and their mainland West African rivals have been warned that this will be a demanding encounter.

A win for either side will have further implications should Egypt not sweep aside Mozambique in the earlier fixture at the same venue.

To Win
Ghana 8/10
Draw 2/1
Cape Verde 7/2


Having made 23 appearance at AFCON, it has been a long time between drinks for the Black Stars since their last title, having been crowned champions last back in 1982.

Going into the Ivory Coast, they have been in iffy form in their last 10 fixtures, winning just four games, drawing times and losing on four occasions. This has seen them slide down number 61 in FIFA’s latest rankings, and 11th according to CAF in Africa.

Cape Verde

Appearing in their fourth tournament, the Blue Sharks have absolutely nothing to lose and the world to gain. They will look to make the quarterfinals for a second time, having done so in their inaugural tournament in 2013 in South Africa.

Ranked 12th in Africa and their highest ever standing of 73rd in the world, Cape Verde’s is encouraging, having won four matches from their last nine games since January 2023.

Prediction: Ghana win (8/10)

Everything about this encounter points to what will be an arm wrestle, which will prove quite interesting to the neutral and partisan. Ghana are the favourites to win it, but do not be surprised if the Cape Verde Islanders steal something from it.

Keba Mothoagae