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WC Qualification Africa

Paintsil: Unlike South Africa, Zimbabwe will be difficult for Ghana

15:35 GMT+4 23/01/2020
Andre Ayew of Ghana, Anice Badri of Tunisia, 2019 Afcon
The erstwhile Black Stars right-back speaks on the team's group opponents in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers 

Former Ghana international John Paintsil has advised the Black Stars against complacency in their quest to make a return to the World Cup.

The West Africans have been drawn against South Africa, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia in Group G of the penultimate round of qualifiers for Qatar 2022.

Ghana are looking to make a comeback in the global showpiece since their last appearance at Brazil 2014 where they were eliminated in the group stage.

"Looking at Ghana’s group, you might see it as an easy group but the game is changing so we need to prepare and train well," former Fulham and Leicester City fullback Paintsil, who represented Ghana at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, told Happy FM.

"There are no small teams but I am sure that we will definitely top the group.

"Zimbabwe is not an easy team to beat at home, same for Ethiopia.

"Those teams are well motivated to beat us because it is Ghana they’re playing.

"Playing away in Zimbabwe is always difficult, unlike South Africa because they understand the game."

Having drawn a bye for the first round qualifiers, the Black Stars will hope to finish top of Group G in the second round to reach the third and final round of the series.

The 10 group winners will progress to the play-offs, home and away fixtures in November next year to decide Africa's five representatives for the final tournament in Qatar.

Ghana, Africa's joint-best performers at the World Cup with a quarter-final appearance at South Africa 2010, have qualified for the tournament on three occasions.