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We must be at our best to face these Ghanaians, says Benin’s Dussuyee

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Ghana’s players inspect the pitch at the Ismailia Stadium, on June 24, 2019, on the eve of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Ghana and Benin. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)

The Squirrels of Benin head coach, Michel Dussuyee says the current Black Stars squad is still as strong as the team he faced seven years ago in Gabon.

Dussuyee said the Ghana side he faced with Guinea during 2012 AFCON possessed best players in the team but this current Black Stars players are talented and with experience.

The coach mentioned players such as Asamoah Gyan, Atsu, Wakaso and others who can make the difference for Ghana against his side today at the Ismailia Stadium.

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“Ghana has a lot of talented players despite not having the best players like before. Atsu, Boye, Wakaso & even Gyan still here. There’s talent and experience so Ghana is still strong,” he said.

However, Black Stars Captain, Andre Dede Ayew has doused the optimism of his compatriots, noting that Ghana is not amongst the favorites to lift this year’s trophy in Egypt.

The West African Country has either been to the semi-final or the final of the last five editions of the continental competition.

This year they are making another representation and will hope to eventually get their hands on the trophy at the end of the tournament.

While the Black Stars continue to be regarded as a top side on the continent, Captain Dede Ayew has refused to accept the assertion that Ghana is one of the favorites to emerge as winners this term.

According to the former U-20 World Cup winner, unlike past AFCON tournaments where they had great teams and were tagged favorites, he doesn’t see that this time with the likes of Egypt, Senegal, Cameroun and some others having better teams than the Black Stars.

“Let’s be honest, Ghana has had a great team for the last 12 or 13 years from the Appiah, Muntari and (John) Mensah generation, the 2006 World Cup to now. The country has always been able to keep a certain level of performance, especially in the AFCON.

“Surprisingly, this is the first time since I am playing an AFCON where we aren’t favorites.

“We’re usually the top two or three favourites and we always get to the semis or final but this time other countries like Senegal, Egypt, Cameroun, about five or six countries are ahead of us,” the Black Stars captain said.

Ghana is hoping to end a 39-year long wait for an AFCON triumph this year. To have any chance of achieving that feat though, they will have to get past defending champions Cameroun, Benin and Guinea Bissau, who have all been pitted in Group F.


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