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Saturday, September 30, 2023

2023 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying Preview: Group E



FIFA Ranking: 60

AFCON Appearances: 23

Best Finish: Champions (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982)

Manager: Otto Addo

Key Player

Mohammed Kudus (AFC Ajax- Netherlands)

The qualification campaign for the 2021 AFCON was where a 19-year-old Kudus grew into a major contributor for the Black Stars and while a series of injuries have limited his ability to contribute regularly, Ghanaian supporters are hoping the attacking midfielder will stay fit for all of 2022. After an injury-fit 2021-22 season with Ajax, the Dutch giants have eased Kudus back into fitness with numerous substitute appearances and a couple of starts since he returned from starting both legs in Ghana’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying playoff victory over Nigeria. His close control of the ball and ability to pick out forwards making runs makes Kudus essential to the Ghanaian midfield.

Other players to watch

Thomas Partey (Arsenal- England) A crucial component in the base of Ghana’s midfield, Partey will not be available for the opening two matches as his injury struggles continue to pop up. Ghana will expect to advance as a top-2 side and will hope that most importantly, Partey is ready for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in November.

Daniel-Kofi Kyereh (St. Pauli- Germany) In the injury-related absences of players like Kudus, the German-born attacking midfielder earned his spot in the team by filling in at the 2021 AFCON earlier this year. Scored 12 goals and provided 9 assists for St. Pauli in the Bundesliga 2 this season.

Felix Afena-Gyan (AS Roma- Italy) The 19-year-old forward graduated from Roma’s youth academy to make 22 appearances this season in all competitions and showed his potential in the Qatar 2022 qualifying playoff against Nigeria. With several dual national attacking players in the process of switching allegiance to Ghana, the 2023 AFCON qualifying campaign is Afena-Gyan’s best opportunity to secure his spot in the World Cup squad.


Ghana will be heavy favorites to advance and win the group but the Black Stars will need to secure full points at home due to tough road challenges awaiting them in Madagascar and Angola. If the defense can stay secure as it did against Nigeria in World Cup qualifying then it will give freedom for a developing attack to improve.