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Africa Cup of Nations

  • January 20, 2013
  • • 15:00
  • • Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
  • Referee: D. Bennett
  • • Attendance: 7000
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Ghana-DR Congo Preview: Black Stars to justify favourites tag against troubled Leopards

Ghana-DR Congo Preview: Black Stars to justify favourites tag against troubled Leopards

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The World Cup quarter-finalists will open their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations campaign against their Congolese foes in Port Elizabeth as they seek to end a 31-year trophy drought

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

GHANA
Angola
Dauda
Paintsil, Vorsah, Boye, Afful
Annan, Badu
Atsu, Wakaso, Asamoah
Gyan


DR CONGO

 Morocco
Kidiaba
Mongongu, Mulemo, Mabiala, Kasusula
Mulumbu, Zola, Zakuani
LuaLua, Mbokani, Mputu

The Black Stars have a very good head-to-head record against the Leopards, having recorded eight wins in the 14 times both countries have locked horns. The Simbas have also won four with the remaining two ending in a draw.

Meetings between both countries have been far and few in terms of the Africa Cup of Nations, with the last encounter in February 1998 in Burkina Faso, where the likes of Tondelua aided the Congolese to pip the Ghanaians by a goal to nil, effectively ending their hopes of progressing from the group stage.

On paper Ghana look much stronger despite the introduction of so many debutants, but in the wily Frenchman Claude Le Roy, who has seen it all on the African continent, DR Congo have a tactical brain who can turn things around on any day.

The two last met in a 2006 World Cup qualifier where both games ended in draws and Le Roy knows the Ghana team too well having handled them to third position in the 2008 Afcon.

DR Congo’s strength lies in their attack where they have the deadly Dieumerci Mbokani of Belgian giants Anderlecht. Also, the team boasts of as many as seven players from former African champions TP Mazembe.

Conversely, Ghana are a very determined and resilient young side who have proven time and again that they can live up to expectation, especially when the going gets tough and they did just that by coming back from 2-0 down to beat Tunisia 4-2 in the final trial game before the tournament.

Ghana have suffered a few injuries during pre-tournament camping, but team doctors have assured all four affected players will gain full fitness by Sunday.

  DID YOU KNOW?

  • West Brom’s midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu, whose surname means Heart of a Leopard or Man Beast, retired prematurely from the DR Congo national team 16 months ago, but withdrew the decision late last year upon the intervention of President Joseph Kabila.

  • Coach Claude Le Roy resigned on the eve of the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa due to lack of commitment on the part of the Federation, but changed his mind after assurances from officials.

  • Asamoah Gyan is the only survivor of the Ghana Black Stars team which drew 1-1 with DR Congo in Kinshasa eight years ago.

  • It was Le Roy who invited Juventus midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah and defender Isaac Vorsah to the Black Stars.

  • Ghana, whose coach Kwesi Appiah is going into this tournament for the first time as a head coach, have not lost in their last five games with DR Congo.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
CHAN - 2014 ‎(CHAN)‎ Jan 26, 2014 Ghana 1 - DR Congo - Kinshasa 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
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Africa Cup of Nations ‎(ACN)‎ Jan 20, 2013 Ghana 2 - DR Congo - Kinshasa 2
  • Player Ratings
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
21Muteba KidiabaGoalkeeper
-M. IssamaDefender
-Jean Kasusula KiritshoDefender
25Larrys MabialaDefender
2Cedric MongonguDefender
21Youssouf MulumbuMidfielder
-Trésor MputuStriker
-Cedrick MakiadiMidfielder
-P. KabanguStriker
-MbokaniStriker
-LuaLuaStriker
-Parfait MandandaGoalkeeper
-Landu BakalaGoalkeeper
14Landry MulemoMidfielder
-C. MbembaDefender
-Gabriel ZakuaniDefender
-M. KisombeMidfielder
-Z. MatumonaMidfielder
-N. LuvumbuStriker
-Budge ManziaStriker
-D. KandaStriker
-Y. DibaStriker
-A. KaluyitukaStriker
Players to Watch
Asamoah Gyan
Asamoah Gyan
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 3
Games Goals YC RC
7 1 0 0
The Black Stars skipper has been on top form in the UAE league where he is leading the goal king race and he has been able to replicate his form for Ghana by scoring two goals in two trial games the country has played. Ghana will rely on him more to deliver the goals.
Mbokani
Mbokani
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
3 5 1 0
The Anderlecht forward is arguably the best player in the Belgian Jupiler League so far, and he showed his prowess in the European Champions League by netting five goals in the group stages for his club before they were kicked out. He will be the key man for the Leopards in this campaign.
Prediction
On paper Ghana look much stronger despite the introduction of so many debutants, and the odds favour them in every department hence it will take a great deal of hard work for the Leopards to overcome them.
Editor's Prediction
Ghana 2
DRC 1

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