Ghana World Cup Preview & Analysis: Schedule, Roster & Projections
Pictured: Thomas Partey.
- Ghana returns to the World Cup after missing the 2018 event.
- Will they find success in Qatar?
- Read on for a full preview, including a tactical analysis and key player breakdown.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup has arrived, and Action Network’s staff of soccer experts are here to take you through each and every team that will be participating.
Read on for a full breakdown of Ghana ahead of the tournament, and click here for analysis on each of the other 31 teams.
Ghana World Cup Preview
Ghana are back in the World Cup after missing the cut in 2018. They made their debut back in 2006, reaching the knockout rounds that year as well as in 2010. The Black Stars earned their return to the world stage through one of the five qualification spots available from the Confederation of African Football.
Although they qualified, it was far from convincing, and some analysts and fans believe that the Black Stars should be counting their lucky stars. Ghana were on the better end of some seriously questionable refereeing decisions to advance to a playoff against Nigeria.
This is not the same team that was on the pitch that defeated the USA in Germany and South Africa. With their unconvincing play in WCQ and their uninspiring play during the African Cup of Nations this past winter, the Black Stars come into Qatar with the lowest FIFA World Ranking at 61. Ghana failed to advance out of the group stage in AFCON, earning just one point in a group alongside Morocco, Gabon and Comoros.
|Chances To…||Action Projections||bet365 Odds|
|Win Group Stage||1.23%||+1600|
|Advance To Knockout Round||8.26%||+300|
|Win World Cup||0.01%||+25000|
|Odds as of publish. Action projections by Nick Giffen of the Action Predictive Analytics team.|
It’s been Ghana’s inability to score and create chances that has led to their lack of threatening play. During WCQ, the Black stars failed to score in 40% of their matches and averaged under a goal per game (0.9).
While it’s been a rocky year for Ghana, there is a new age of Ghanaians taking the field at the international level. Ghana has the third youngest roster behind Ecuador and the USA at 25.1 years. After their ACON embarrassment, they also hired a new manager, Otto Addo.
Sprinkled in with their inexperienced team are stars and veterans. Of those players, the biggest name is Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey. He plays in front of Mohammed Salisu, a part of Southampton’s defense, and Daniel Amartey, who plays in the backline for Leicester City.
Ghana have also seen players with dual citizenship switch sides in their favor ahead of the World Cup. The biggest headline name is Iñaki Williams. Williams made a one-time switch from Spain after only earning one cap. He currently suits up for Athletic Bilbao in La Liga and has four goals and one assist in 11 games this season. The 28-year-old has only played two friendlies with Ghana so far, but he could be the answer to their goal-scoring issue.
Ghana were drawn into a challenging Group H which contains Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay. They will be underdogs in every match they play during round-robin games. Still, the Black Stars will have an excited and motivated team that has perhaps become slightly underrated and ready to embrace the underdog role in a tournament where they seemingly have no outside pressure.
Key Player: Thomas Partey
Partey is the most well-known player on Ghana, and he is also the most important. The Arsenal midfielder’s goal-scoring heroics are what got the Black Stars to the World Cup, and he will need to be at his best if they are to have any chance at advancing. Luckily for the Black Stars, he’s had a great start to the club season. Partey has started 10 of the Gunners’ 13 games in their top-of-the-table start to the Premier League.
In those 10 matches, the 29-year-old scored two goals, is second on the team in completed passes into the final third (73) and is tied for first for progressive passes with 54.
For Ghana, Partey’s best matches have come when he is positioned further up the pitch as a true central midfielder. Partey has 11 goals for the Black Stars in just 28 appearances and is the key cog for this unit.
Addo took over as manager for the Black Stars after their disappointing performance in this year’s AFCON tournament for previous head coach Milovan Rajevac. Addo was initially hired as an interim coach, but after successfully guiding Ghana back to the World Cup, he was officially given the job via a one-year contract that will last until December 2023.
However, Addo, who played professionally at Borussia Dortmund as a midfielder and winger, was working as a trainer scout with the German club at the time he was given the job and said that he will continue to do so throughout his time with Ghana. So, yes, Ghana currently have a part-time coach and with him only having eight games under his belt as head coach, his tactics and preferred starting XI are still unclear.
From those eight matches, Addo has lined Ghana up in a 4-2-3-1. He has flirted with the possibility of lining up the Black Stars in a 3-4-3, though. This would allow Partey to play a bit higher up the pitch and play Williams, Jordan Ayew and Mohammed Kudus in a front three.
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Ghana World Cup Schedule
|Portugal||11 a.m. ET, Nov. 24|
|South Korea||8 a.m. ET, Nov. 28|
|Uruguay||10 a.m. ET, Dec. 2|
Most Recent World Cup Result
Fourth Place, Group Stage (2014)
It was a rough World Cup in 2014 for Ghana results-wise, but a break here and there and they could have advanced from a group that contained the United States, Portugal and Germany. Unfortunately, Ghana managed to get a lone point from the group and finished in last place.
Ghana World Cup Roster