Our World Cup Fantasy team previews continue with a look at Ghana, placed in a competitive-looking Group H with Portugal, South Korea and 2010 nemesis Uruguay.
In these country-by-country guides, we’ll be looking at the best players from each nation, taking a stab at predicted line-ups, reviewing the road to Qatar and more.
To do this, we’ll be calling on the help of correspondents from each nation.
All prices given are from the official FIFA World Cup Fantasy game.
THE ROAD TO QUALIFICATION
Having not qualified four years ago, Ghana only just snuck first place ahead of South Africa in a generous-looking Group G. Then, two playoff draws secured their ticket to Qatar via the away goals rule.
This certainly isn’t reminiscent of the great 2010 World Cup squad that almost reached the semi-final, although a few talented youngsters have started to establish themselves in Addo’s side.
Third Round playoff: Ghana 0-0 Nigeria; Nigeria 1-1 Ghana
- Most starts: Daniel Amartey (7), Jordan Ayew (7), Alexander Djiku (7)
- Most goals: Andre Ayew (3), Thomas Partey (3)
- Most assists: Jordan Ayew (1), Baba Rahman (1), Andy Yiadom (1), Gideon Mensah (1)
- Clean sheets: 4 from 8
MATCHES OF 2022
Until Thursday night’s win over Switzerland, their only wins from this year’s 12 other matches came against Madagascar and Nicaragua. Furthermore, a humiliating loss to Comoros brought group stage elimination from the African Cup of Nations.
Big defeats to Brazil, Algeria and Japan won’t boost confidence of them getting revenge on Luis Suarez ($7.5m) and Uruguay, so a bunch of newly-nationalised players have been rushed onto the scene.
Three of these made the final squad – Tariq Lamptey ($4.0m) of Brighton and Hove Albion, Mohammed Salisu ($3.5m) of Southampton and Inaki Williams ($6.5m) of Athletic Club.
|5 January 2022||Friendly||Algeria||3-0||Ghana|
|10 January 2022||African Cup of Nations Group C||Morocco||1-0||Ghana|
|14 January 2022||African Cup of Nations Group C||Gabon||1-1||Ghana|
|18 January 2022||African Cup of Nations Group C||Ghana||2-3||Comoros|
|25 March 2022||WC playoff||Ghana||0-0||Nigeria|
|29 March 2022||WC playoff||Nigeria||1-1||Ghana|
|1 June 2022||African Cup of Nations qualifier||Ghana||3-0||Madagascar|
|5 June 2022||African Cup of Nations qualifier||Central African Republic||1-1||Ghana|
|10 June 2022||Kirin Cup||Japan||4-1||Ghana|
|14 June 2022||Kirin Cup||Chile||0-0 p||Ghana|
|23 September 2022||Friendly||Brazil||3-0||Ghana|
|27 September 2022||Friendly||Nicaragua||0-1||Ghana|
|17 November 2022||Friendly||Ghana||2-0||Switzerland|
MOST RECENT INTERNATIONAL LINE-UPS
23/09/2022 – Brazil 3-0 Ghana
(4-1-4-1) Wollacott; Odoi, Djiku, Amartey, Rahman; Idrissu; Sulemana, Kudus, A Ayew, J Ayew; Afena-Gyan
27/09/2022 – Nicaragua 0-1 Ghana (Issahaku Fatawu)
(4-2-3-1) Ofori; Seidu, Salisu, Amartey, Mensah; Idrissu, Kudus; Bukari, Kyereh, Fatawu; Williams
17/11/2022 – Ghana 2-0 Switzerland (Salisu, Semenyo)
(4-2-3-1) Ati-Zigi; Lamptey, Amartey, Salisu, Rahman; Owusu, Abdul Samed; Afriyie, A Ayew, J Ayew; Williams
HOW FAR WILL THEY GET?
“A group stage exit for sure. Ghana is in a very tough group and you would expect them to finish bottom. Lose the first game to Portugal and suddenly it’s crisis mode by the time we face South Korea. There’s not enough quality in the team.” – Bulara Darlington
“Round of 16 exit to Brazil” – Let’s Talk Ghana
“I think the round of 16 will be reached.” – Abdul
“I would definitely say it’s the coach Otto Addo. He was able to navigate past a very strong Nigerian team on short notice. He also identified that the current team wasn’t good enough, so he had to recruit European players with Ghanaian descent.” – Bulara Darlington
“Good selection of centre-backs and the possibility of counter-attacking via Lamptey, Williams and Kamaldeen Sulemana ($4.0m).” – Let’s Talk Ghana
“Ghana’s core strength is the dynamic wingers we have in Mohammed Kudus ($6.0m), Abdul Fatawu Issahaku ($5.5m) and Sulemana, coupled with a resolute midfield of Thomas Partey ($6.0m) and a good defensive blend of youth and experience.” – Abdul
“A lack of goals. You just wonder who will score them – maybe Williams but he’ll be starved of service.” – Bulara Darlington
“Team chemistry, with all the new faces coming in.” – Let’s Talk Ghana
“A lack of threat in front of goal and our inability to defend set pieces. Also, our coach has only had the job for a short period.” – Abdul
THE KEY FANTASY TARGETS
Although a clear bunch of key players emerges below, there is still a lack of certainty on who gets penalties and set pieces. That’s what happens when a new bunch of names are introduced just a few months before a World Cup!
“Inaki Williams – If you’re looking for a cheap third forward, this is your go-to man. Could have penalty duty.
“Joseph Wollacott – A cheap goalkeeping alternative, as Ghana will probably play defensive football.
“Tariq Lamptey – We all know about this guy from Brighton so, for a very defensive team, he could be the shining light based on his marauding runs.” – Bulara Darlington
“Mohammed Kudus has goal contributions in him and is nailed to play 90 minutes.
“Inaki Williams is fast and will benefit from our counter-attacking, just like Tariq Lamptey. We are also pretty strong defensively. Apart from the game against Portugal, we could keep at least one clean sheet against Uruguay or South Korea.” – Let’s Talk Ghana
“Thomas Partey – on most set pieces.
“Mohammed Kudus – Our most in-form player at club level.
“Andre Ayew – Captain, talisman and probably on penalties.” – Abdul
There is also disagreement over Addo’s starting formation and his preferred Ayew brother. In fact, the only players to make all three predicted line-ups are Wollacott, Lamptey, Daniel Amartey ($4.5m), Partey, Kudus and Williams.
Predicted line-ups of Bulara (left), Let’s Talk Ghana (middle) and Abdul (right)