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South Africa vs Ghana prediction, preview, team news and more | 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

South Africa will host Ghana on Thursday
South Africa will host Ghana on Thursday
Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 24 Mar 2021
Preview

Two heavyweights of African football square off, with South Africa hosting Ghana in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Soccer City in Johannesburg on Thursday.

The two sides sit joint-top of Group C, having garnered nine points from four games to date. However, Ghana currently hold the advantage, having won the first leg 2-0 back in November 2019.

Sudan are just behind in third on six points and will be looking to take advantage of any slip-up by the top two teams in the group. In light of this, both South Africa and Ghana will give their all to secure all three points.

South Africa vs Ghana Head-to-Head

This will be the 14th meeting between the sides and the head-to-head record is even.

Both sides have four wins apiece, while five previous games ended with a share of the spoils.

Their most recent meeting came in November 2019 when goals in each half from Thomas Partey and Mohammed Kudus gave the Black Stars a 2-0 victory in Cape Coast.

South Africa have won their three competitive games since then, with victories registered over Sao Tome and Principe and Sudan. However, they failed to win any of their two friendly fixtures.

Ghana's most recent game was a shock 1-0 defeat away to Sudan. A late goal by Mohamed Rahman gave the Falcons of Jediane all three points in November 2020.

South Africa form guide: W-W-L-D-W

Ghana form guide: L-W-W-L-W


South Africa vs Ghana Team News

South Africa

Coach Molefi Ntseki initially called up 25 players in a squad headlined by Percy Tau for the marquee fixtures against Ghana and Sudan.

However, some players faced travel restrictions and others were ruled out through injuries. The South Africa manager has therefore called up an additional five players, including Lebo Maboe and Thabiso Kutumela.

Forward Kermit Erasmus suffered an ankle sprain while in action for Mamelodi Sundowns. Bradley Grobler has also been ruled out with an injury.

Injury: Kermit Erasmus, Bradley Grobler

Suspension: None

Ghana

Ghana head coach Charles Akonnor initially left out the England-based trio of Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew and Thomas Partey from his 29-man squad for games against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe.

However, a late arrangement with their clubs saw the trio included for the game in Sao Tome. They will not be part of the traveling party to take on South Africa. The country is classified as a high-risk COVID-19 area and the players would have to quarantine for 10 days upon returning to England.

Two Germany-based players rejected their call-ups, with Kasim Adams Nuhu and Stephan Ambrosius pulling out of the squad. Left-back Gideon Mensah is unavailable for selection due to an injury.

Injury: Gideon Mensah

Suspension: None

South Africa vs Ghana Predicted XI

South Africa Predicted XI (4-3-3): Itumeleng Khune (GK); Thulani Hlatshwayo, Thapelo Morena, Mosa Lebusa, Innocent Maela; Bongani Zungu, Vincent Pule, Sipho Mbule; Percy Tau, Lebo Maboe, Thabiso Kutumela

Ghana Predicted XI (4-4-2): Richard Ofori (GK); Baba Rahman, Kasim Nuhu, Nicholas Opuku, Benson Anang; Mubarak Wakaso, Afriyie Acquah, Iddrisu Baba, Gladson Awako; Emmanuel Boateng, Caleb Ekuban


South Africa vs Ghana Prediction

South Africa are as capable of the spectacular as they are of being mediocre, and it is difficult to know which Bafana Bafana will turn up on home soil.

The potential absence of key foreign-based players could hamper the hosts' chances, although Ghana also have key absences.

With a lot riding on the outcome of this game, both sides might prioritize not losing rather than playing to win. We predict that the two teams will cancel each other out for a share of the spoils.

Prediction: South Africa 1-1 Ghana

Published 24 Mar 2021
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