Black Stars against Comoros, who will Chris Hughton start?

Estimated read time 4 min read

Ghana will lock horns with the Coelacanths of Comoros today at the Stade de Moroni in a crunch World Cup qualifier. Both have started off well, Comoros secured an opening-day victory over the Central African Republic to commence their campaign. That victory has them now seated second in the group. Ghana meanwhile endured a torrid time in Kumasi but thanks to an injury-time goal from Inaki Williams, the Black Stars secured an important lone-goal victory.

The last time the two met was in the 2021 African Cup of Nations where the Coelacanths emerged shock 3-2 winners over the Black Stars. In three meetings, the first in 2015, they have shared a victory each, with the other being a draw.

Today’s meeting is a crucial one as they both aim to secure a ticket to the 2026 World Cup. So what will Chris Hughton and his charges do and who will be the men that Chris will trust to lead the Black stars against Comoros?

Goalkeeper: Richard Ofori. The Orlando Pirates goalie had some busy moments against Madagascar but did not concede. It was his first time back for the team in a long while. Hughton will stick with him though Jojo Wollacott is waiting to reclaim the position he made his own prior to the World Cup.

LB: Gideon Mensah was the man who created the final piece for Inaki Williams to nail the Barea at the dearth. He was not a five-star performer on the day but it is guaranteed he will maintain his spot against Comoros.

RB: Dennis Odoi. The Club Brugge full-back came in to replace Alidu Seidu after watching the Clermont Foot man fumble under pressure for the entire time he was on the pitch. Odoi did not get it easy either against the Madagascans but his experience and willingness to commit forward would be key if the Black Stars want to open up their opponents early on.

CB: Daniel Amartey and Nicholas Opoku. The duo did well to tame the Barea attacks and though the Besiktas man had to go off for injury, it is expected that he will return if he is not sidelined by fitness. Opoku made timely clearances to help keep the Stars in the game against an adventurous Madagascar side and would be needed to do the same today.

Midfield: Mohammed Kudus, Majeed Ashimeru and Salis Abdul Sameed. The West Ham man could not get on the scoresheet but his game was good. Like others, he had a bad first half but when the game came to life in the second half, he gave a good account of himself and stretched the position with dangerous runs into the opposition half. Salis Samed has become a key member of the team since making his debut last year and the workaholic Lens FC man will be expected to keep things tight in the middle as Thomas Partey misses out yet again. Majeed Ashimeru will add speed and creativity at the middle too in support of Kudus as the three form a three-man pivot for the Black Stars.

LW: Jordan Ayew, the Crystal Palace forward’s influence in the team cannot be overstated. His hold-up play and hard work will always make him a favourite of many coaches. Tasked with supporting Inaki, Jordan will look to help the team finish off the international window in style. I bet that Chris will stick with him despite others knocking for places in the starting XI.

Black Stars train ahead of their match against Comoros

RW: Osman Bukari. The speedy winger will be a tough pick because Ernest Nuamah did enough in the few minutes he had on the pitch to demand a place in the starting XI. Antoine Semenyo may also feel hard to be dropped but had he taken his chances or not interfered with Inaki Williams’ play, the story might have been different. It was evident that AFC Bournemouth and Inaki did not have a good understanding of each other and that resulted in so many missed opportunities so he will have to do with a place on the bench for now.

ST: Inaki Williams, the Athletic Club forward finally got his goal and he celebrated with so much emotion. He had suffered amidst calls for him to be dropped but when he did score, it was a testament to his resilience and awareness of his duty. He will lead the lines again and hopefully, he can make it two from two.

Ghana XI: Richard Ofori, Gideon Mensah, Daniel Amartey, Nicholas Opoku, Denis Odoi, Salis Abdul Samed, Majeed Ashimeru, Kudus Mohammed, Osman Bukari, Jordan Ayew, Inaki Williams.

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