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U20 World Cup

  • June 21, 2013
  • • 15:00
  • • Türk Telekom Arena, İstanbul
  • Referee: W. Roldán
  • • Attendance: 4133
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Sellas Tetteh will be leading the Black Satellites in Turkey

France U20 - Ghana U20 Preview: Black Satellites and Les Bleuetes seek to outdo each other in Turkey 2013 opener

Sellas Tetteh will be leading the Black Satellites in Turkey

Sellas Tetteh - Ghana & Black Satellites (Getty)

The 2009 champions start their journey for a second world trophy in a tough opener against France

  PROBABLE LINEUP
FRANCE

Areola
Foulquier, Umtiti, Zouma, Digne
Veretout, Pogba, Bahebeck, Thauvin
Kondogbia, Sanogo


GHANA

Ofori-Antwi
Arkorful, Lartey, Attamah, Nketiah
Ofori, Acheampong, Aboagye, Duncan
Boakye-Yiadom, Assifuah

Ghana kick start their quest to claim a second world crown in three attempts at Under-20 level with a cagey Group A clash against France’s Le Bleuetes in the opening game of Turkey 2013 at Istanbul’s Ali Sami Yen Arena.

Coach Sellas Tetteh - the man who masterminded the Black Satellites’ famous triumph in Egypt some four years ago - has called up a well-rounded squad, consisting of an ideal blend of highly-rated foreign-based players and a fine pool of equally able youngsters from the local league.

Ghana, however, would have to do without the services of Daniel Pappoe, the centre-back who features for the reserves of England’s Chelsea FC, and Tetteh would be hoping the 19-year-old's last minute replacement, Israel-based Baba Mensah, would offer just as much in quality. That notwithstanding, Ghana do boast a side with sufficient depth from defence, through midfield, to attack, and would look to draw from its well-stocked arsenal to undo the opposition on the day.

It isn't as though the French are any less competent, however. Losing semi-finalists from the European U19 Championships in 2012, Pierre Mankowski's France represent one of the tournament's stronger sides, anchored in midfield by the influential Paul Pogba (who doubles as captain) and spearheaded upfront by Yaya Sanogo, the former who played a key role in Juventus' latest Scudetto-winning squad and the latter having almost sealed a move to Arsenal this summer.

Either side would, of course, be seeking the best possible start to life in what has been quite aptly tagged the tournament’s 'group of death', in anticipation of tough encounters versus Spain and the USA. With hungry youngsters, major footballing nations with credentials to defend, and talent aplenty on show, there could hardly be ingredients more worthy for a mouthwatering opening game and a great exhibition of youth football.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Ghana are three-time finalists at the Fifa U20 World Cup, winning the prize on the most recent of those occasions in 2009.

  • By virtue of that sole conquest, Ghana became Africa's first global victors at U20 level.

  • Neither side triumphed at the continental championships but did just enough to qualify for the global event.

  • Ghana and France met at this level of international football at Argentina 2001 and played out a goalless draw, eventually reaching the final and quarter-final respectively.

  • David Trezeguet is the all-time leading scorer for France's U20s with a dozen goals.

  • France have never been crowned champions at world U20 level, with their best display yet -a semi-final finish- coming in 2011 when Colombia hosted the tournament.





Players to watch

Y. Sanogo

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The lanky Auxerre forward is a man desperate to impress the world and prove just why Arsene Wenger - the eagle-eyed talent-spotter - is so willing to fork out a substantial sum to bring him to the Emirates. And, really, there could be few platforms bigger on which to do so than against one of youth football's most renowned sides. It would be interesting to see how he fares against a fairly sturdy Ghanaian backline.

R. Boakye

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Richmond Boakye-Yiadom might have blown the candles on his 20th birthday cake as recently as six months ago, yet his reputation certainly belies his youthful years. Snapped up by Juventus from Genoa last year, Boakye-Yiadom was loaned out to Serie B side Sassuolo and duly helped propel the side to promotion with his immense contributions in attack, primarily in the form of his goals. Already a member of Ghana's senior national side, Boakye-Yiadom would inevitably be the fulcrum of the Satellites' offensive unit in this match albeit having played no part at the African Youth Championships earlier in the year.

Editor's Prediction

Dicey as this game threatens to be, it is hard to see a winner failing to emerge in the end, even if by a slim margin. Ghana's slightly superior success in the competition's history gives them an edge over their opponents, yet a spirited French performance could ultimately rubbish that very fact. That said, a 2-1 win for the west Africans seems a realistic prospect.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

France U20

Ghana U20

Wins
2
0
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

France Under 20 FRA
France Under 20 France U20
Draw
Ghana Under 20 GHA
Ghana Under 20 Ghana U20
41%
51%

Top 3 Predictions

France Under 20 FRA
1 - 2
Ghana Under 20 GHA
France Under 20 FRA
2 - 1
Ghana Under 20 GHA
France Under 20 FRA
1 - 3
Ghana Under 20 GHA

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