Ghana v Zambia: Renard can sink former employers to reach final

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Reaching the semi-finals of the African Nations Cup has become second nature to Ghana in recent years, but translating this form into a tournament victory has proved a far tougher obstacle to overcome.

Ghana are preparing for a third successive semi-final appearance in the African Nations Cup and many will believe they should have the edge over surprise package Zambia.

Coach Goran Stevanovic has admitted that reaching the final is the least everybody expected prior to the tournament in Ghana and 10/11 looks reasonable value that they defeat Zambia and make the final again, as they did when losing to Egypt in 2010.

It is 30 years since Ghana last lifted the African Nations Cup trophy and there are reasons that Zambia may cause this wait to continue.

Firstly, they will play with no real pressure having already met the target set by coach Herve Renard, while perhaps more importantly they head into the semi-final better settled and having enjoyed an extra day’s rest.

Zambia have spent a longer period residing in Bata than Ghana and played their quarter final a day earlier.

Furthermore, Zambia beat Sudan comprehensively 3-0, while Ghana were pushed through the limit to get the better of Tunisia in extra time.

Having been the assistant manager of Ghana during the 2008 African Nations Cup, Renard will be keen to put one over on his former employers and it is 7/2 that Zambia cause another surprise in the tournament.

With Ghana having only conceded two goals thus far, if Zambia are to triumph it could well be a 1-0 success, which can be backed at 9/1.

Punters fancying Ghana may find the best value is the 7/1 on Jordan Ayew opening the scoring, as the young Marseille forward was a particularly effective substitute in the victory over Tunisia and so may be rewarded with a start.

Meanwhile, if a team backed to win the game in 90 minutes is instead successful via a penalty shoot out, the losing match bet will be refunded.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.