Kwesi Appiah is expected to name his final 23 man squad after the Ghana – Netherlands game in Rotterdam today.
Kickoff is at 1900GMT.
Before then, keen Black Stars faithful will be watching today’s game with keen eye to determine whether they are well prepared heading to Brazil.
Coping with the Dutch attack
Despite conceding only three goals during the World Cup qualifiers, the defensive department of the Stars remains a major headache heading into Brazil.
Aside Jonathan Mensah who has previous experience, the other three centre backs – Rashid Sumalia, John Boye and Jerry Akaminko will be tasting their first World Cup experience. And this could be a major shortfall when Ghana faces world class forwards like Cristiano Ronaldo, Miroslave Klose and Clint Dempsey who appear to have seen it all in both club and international competitions.
Also, most of these centre backs especially John Boye and Jonathan Mensah did not have the best of seasons in the French Ligue 1. Boye spent almost five months nursing a knee injury while Jonathan was not at his best for Evian TG. Respected French oulet L’Equipe voted Mensah amongst the worst defenders in the 2013/14 Ligue 1 season.
Ghanaian fans will be counting on the pace of Arjen Robben, finesse of Van Persie and trickery of Sneijder to provide the Stars’ defence with a stern test.
Who deserves the role behind Gyan – KPB or Waris?
Coach Kwesi Appiah will have a tough time selecting between Kevin-Prince Boateng and Majeed Waris for that supporting striker’s role behind Gyan in Brazil.
Both players have been in more-than-decent form for their respective clubs. Abdul Majeed Waris was on fire for Valenciennes as he scored a stunning nine goals in 14 games to emerge as Africa’s second highest scorer in Europe.
This was while Kevin-Prince remained pivotal for Schalke in their quest to secure a champions league berth and a third-placed finish in the 2013/14 Bundesliga season. These stats make it difficult to choose between the two.
This Netherlands game will afford us the opportunity to properly assess the attributes of both players with Kwesi Appiah’s style in mind. May the best man win!
Is it a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3?
The 4 – 4 – 2 which was recently modernized into 4-2-3-1 has served as the traditional formation of the Black Stars. However, many fans are in a fix as to whether Ghana should continue to stick to a traditional 4 – 4 -2 or explore one holding midfielder. Or should they go for a 4 – 3 -3 which allows Appiah to use both Kevin-Prince Boateng and Majeed Waris in that trequartista role.
There is a high held opinion that games in tournaments are mostly won from the bench. This is not a disputed fact. One major area most fans will be assessing in today’s game is how Kwesi Appiah fares with his subs. He’ll be expected to use his options to give fans a preview of what to expect in Brazil.