Ghana look good value to claim African Nations Cup success

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Ghana advance to the 2012 African Nations Cup with a host of star names circulating within their squad.

The Black Stars will still be brimming with confidence from their stellar showing at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where they became the first African country since Cameroon in 1990 to reach such an advanced stage of the tournament.

They will again be without regular captain Michael Essien, whose injury woes have continued to hinder his chances of performing for his country, while Kevin Prince-Boateng has retired since his admirable displays on the world stage, citing a will to concentrate on his club football.

However, Asamoah Gyan has overcome hamstring problems to ensure his selection, and coach Goran Stevanovic has made the most of the wealth of options he has available in defensive and midfield areas in particular.

Particularly recognisable to English fans will be the likes of John Painstil, John Mensah and the aforementioned Gyan, while Sulley Muntari of Inter Milan adds a European pedigree to the side, which may encourage punters to take advantage of the 4/1 odds on offer for Ghana to win the tournament.

The Ghanaians have made the joint-most appearances in the African Cup of Nations final along with Egypt, competing eight times.

It is encouraging that their current side looks to be the strongest since that which was so dominant during the 1960s, where they won two of their four ANC titles, while finishing runners up on two occasions also.

They will hold no fears against tournament debutants Botswana in their opening game, who, 50/1 outsiders to begin with to win the tournament, seem to have an insurmountable task in the absence of injured skipper Mompathi Thuma.

20/1 shots Guinea and 16/1 chances Mali are the other sides to feature in Ghana’s group, but the Black Stars look to have too strong a squad to slip up against this opposition, and seem to have a very real chance of going far in this year’s tournament.

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