ACCRA — Ghana have assembled their strongest squad to face Zambia tomorrow for a play-off spot in the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
Report by MTN Football
But the Black Stars are sweating over the fitness of captain Asamoah Gyan, who limped out of training on Tuesday morning after complaining of thigh pains.
In-form Norway-based goalkeeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey pulled out of the 26-man squad due to a groin injury.
The Black Stars have been bolstered by the return of trio Andre Ayew, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Michael Essien.
Ayew took a temporary break from international football in February this year after he was axed from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations squad after failing to meet the reporting deadline for pre-tournament camping.
The Olympique Marseille ace made himself available and said he was ready to assist the four-time African champions to another appearance at the World Cup.
“It is a game we have to win for the nation because the Zambians are talking too much and they must be shut down,” the 23-year-old said.
“I missed playing for the nation and giving of my best to make sure we get to where we want to go. It is a great feeling to be back into the squad and see the guys again.”
Boateng and Essien also ended self-imposed exiles and want to help Ghana reach the World Cup for a third consecutive time.
Zambia beat the Black Stars twice last year – the first was in February at the semis of the 2012 Nations Cup with a 1-0 win and they replicated that scoreline in Ndola in the corresponding fixture of the qualifiers.
Head coach Herve Renard is likely to miss the services of injured attackers Collins Mbesuma and Jacob Mulenga.
The duo suffered injuries during club assignments and second-choice goalkeeper Danny Munyao has a thigh muscle injury.
The Chipolopolo need to beat Ghana to qualify from Group D into the final qualifying round, which will feature 10 teams. Zambia lie second in the pool with 11 points; one less than Ghana.
The match will be played at the Baba Yara Stadium where the Black Stars have not lost a match in eight years.