Montenegro v Ghana Preview

Ghana For a game that’s the last friendly before Kwesi Appiah selects his final squad, there have been relatively little changes personnel wise than we may have expected. Ghana’s group G opponents have picked vastly experimental squads so it’s a little disappointing Appiah hasn’t done the same just to look at the squad’s strength in depth. The likes of Afriyie Acquah and Shadrach Eghan would be disappointed they haven’t been looked at after the pair have performed well for Parma and FC Twente, respectively. However there may still be a chance before the final twenty-three are picked since nations normally pick a provisional squad of thirty before whittling down the numbers to twenty-three.

Montenegro, coming off the back of missing out on the World Cup play-offs and will be looking to prepare for the Euro 2016 qualifiers. Stefan Savic will be a notable name to Premier League watchers although Stefan Jovetic is a notable absentee through injury. Mirko Vucinic also misses out.

Because there are few changes in the squad it’s fairly reasonable to expect there will be tactical fine tuning with a few tweaks rather than vast experimentation. One area where we may see a fresh face is in between the posts. Aduana Stars goalkeeper Stephen Adams impressed in this year’s CHAN and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him starting in Podgorica on Wednesday. Adam Larsen Kwarasey may also be given a chance to stake his claim as number one ‘keeper after Fatau Dauda has been left out of this month’s squad after being assured of being Ghana’s first choice even after riding the Orlando Pirates bench for most of the current season.  With all this in mind there’s still a good possibility of both keepers getting 45 minutes of football on Wednesday.

In terms of outfield players, Kevin-Prince Boateng is a player who will most likely be in the starting XI, whether this will be part of a midfield two or as the central attacking midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 remains to be seen. David Addy may also be given a starting chance at left back, being the only natural left back in the squad, after missing out on the chance to start in Ghana’s last qualifier against Egypt due to sustaining an injury.

After three successive games of seeing Abdul Majeed Waris and Asamoah Gyan partnering each other upfront Appiah may choose to encourage more cohesion in the partnership by allowing them more time to gel or he may go the other way and pick only a single striker to play ahead of Prince-Boateng as aforementioned.  Jordan Ayew also has an outside chance of starting after opening his scoring account for Sochaux on the weekend.

It is difficult to pin down what exactly to expect for this fixture. Appiah appears to be set on the current 4-4-2 shape but will surely want to add Kevin-Prince Boateng to the mix which, if he still wants to keep experienced heads Essien and Muntari in the team, would necessitate a change. Will we see more fringe players start or will there be an attempt to keep more or less the same players used in Ghana’s last two matches to encourage continuity an team gelling? Having said all that, a loss to a Montenegro side who failed to make their continental play-offs and have both of their exceptional players out of the squad may be cause for worry.

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