Ghana name 26-man provisional squad for Afcon

The Black Stars coach has named a provisional squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, with three players to be axed

Ghana coach Avram Grant has announced a 26-man provisional squad for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations holding in Gabon in a fortnight.

The Black Stars, runners-up in the previous edition, have been paired with Egypt, Mali and Uganda in Group D of the 2017 Afcon.

Grant's squad consists of notable names like captain Asamoah Gyan, Wakaso Mubarak, Ayew brothers and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu.

However, the three headline inclusions are Barnsley defender Andy Yiadom, who has played 22 games including 19 starts in the English Championship this season, Schalke 04 youngster Bernard Tekpetey as well as Austrian-based striker Rafael Dwamena.

Surprisingly missing is 2016 Ghana Premier League best player and topscorer Latif Blessing. The 19-year-old was in top form for Liberty Professionals last season but despite training with the team last week he failed to make the lot.

Nuru Sulley, Rashid Sumaila and Augustine Okrah were all snubbed as well despite their recent impressive performances for their respective clubs.

The Black Stars will depart Ghana on Tuesday for Dubai to continue preparations for 12 more days before the release of the final 23, who will leave for Gabon on January 14.

Full squad:

Goalkeepers: Razak Braimah (Cordoba, Spain), Adam Kwarasey (Rosenborg, Norway), Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars)

Defenders: Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew, USA), Andy Yiadom (Barnsley, England), Baba Rahman (Schalke, Germany), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium), (John Boye, (Sivasspor, Turkey), Jonathan Mensah (Anzhi, Russia), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City, England), Edwin Gyimah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa)

Midfielders: Andre Ayew (West Ham, England), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Afriyie Acquah (Torino, Italy), Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid, Spain) Mubarak Wakaso (Panathinaikos, Greece), Christian Atsu (Newcastle, England), Ebenezer Ofori (AIK Stockholm, Sweden), Joseph Larweh Attamah (Basaksehir, Turkey)

Forwards: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ahli, UAE), Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa, England), Abdul-Majeed Waris (Lorient, France), Ebenezer Assifuah (Sion, Switzerland), Bernard Tekpetey (Schalke, Germany), Rahpael Dwamena (Austria Lustenau, Austria), Samuel Tetteh (Leifering, Austria)