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Michael Essien will start tonight’s game from the bench …

Ghana’s stand-in captain and midfield ace Michael Essien is not in the starting line-up for the crucial encounter against Ivory Coast tonight.

With the Chelsea ace starting from the bench, Agyeman-Badu and Moussa Narry will take over the central midfield duties.

Coach Milovan Rajevac has handed starts to six Nations Cup debutants as all eyes turn to Cabinda for the Black Stars’ first match of the tournament.

Senior goalkeeper Richard Kingson of Wigan will start between the posts and will be protected by full-backs, Samuel Inkoom and Ibrahim Ayew. Isaac Vorsah and Eric Addo will start in central defence, according to the official website of the Ghana FA.

Rajevac has opted to play Andre Ayew and Opoku Agyemang on the flanks while Mathew Amoah and Kwadwo Asamoah lead the line for Ghana.

Starting team
: Kingson; Inkoom, I. Ayew, Addo, Vorsah; Agyeman-Badu, A. Ayew, Narry, Agyemang; Amoah, Asamoah

Subs: McCarthy, Sarpei, Gyan, Osei, Mensah, Annan, Essien, Addy, Adjei, Adiyiah, Afful, Draman.


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