Afcon 2019: Ghana v Tunisia: Squad News & Match Preview

With the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt certainly not short on surprises, an interesting match awaits at the Ismailia Stadium where four-time champions Ghana face one-time winners Tunisia in the last Round of 16 fixture on Monday.

The bookmakers have tipped the Black Stars to get one over the Carthage Eagles as aside from Ghana's higher historical status, their emergence as Group F winners ahead of Cameroon sets them as a fearsome side.

Tunisia, on the hand, made the Round of 16 as Group E's second-placed side, their three draws and three points raising a lot of concerns over their strength.

But on the back on lowly Benin eliminating favourites Morocco, South Africa stunning hosts Egypt and debutants Madagascar kicking out DR Congo, the script is surely open to any and everything on Monday.

Game  

Ghana v Tunisia
Date Monday, July 8
Time 19:00 GMT

Squads & Team News

Ghana's Thomas Teye Partey and Georges Mandjeck of Cameroon

Except for the withdrawal of Newcastle United's Christian Atsu from Ghana's squad due to an injury picked up during the second group game against Cameroon, coach James Appiah does not have any major injury problems going into Monday's fixture.

Thomas Agyepong, who was unavailable following an injury in the group opener against Benin, is back in training and ready to go after sitting out the last two matches.

Centre-back Jonathan Mensah, who was rested for the last match with Guinea-Bissau due to fitness concerns, has also resumed training.

Furthermore, the Black Stars will be boosted by the return of Hoffenheim centre-back Kasim Adams Nuhu who was forced out of the last game due to suspension.

With Afriyie Acquah impressing after coming on as a second-half substitute against Guinea-Bissau, he could be handed his first start of the tournament as part of a double-pivot with Mubarak Wakaso, freeing Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey for a more offensive role.

Tunisia-Wahbi-Kechrida

Tunisia have injury concerns over star man Wahbi Khazri who suffered a muscle injury during the Carthage Eagles’ last group stage game against Mauritania.

The Saint-Etienne attacker is nonetheless expected to play against the Black Stars after being given a two-day rest with a special program in rehabilitation and physical therapy, according to team doctor Sohail Shemli.

Aymen Ben Mohammed also has an injury concern but Ghilane Chaalali is available for selection after serving a suspension in the 0-0 draw with Mauritania.

"We have played three games so far. Our performance was not good in the beginning but we have improved some aspects," coach Alain Giresse said the pre-match presser.

"We have to learn our lessons and show a strong game against the Black Stars. The final training could see us make some changes in our team, considering the nature of the match."
 

Match Preview

The records, certainly, do not favour Tunisia.

In seven matches against Ghana at the continental gathering so far, the Carthage Eagles have lost six times, drawing the other match.

Their last encounter at the championship was in 2012 where they lost 2-1 after extra-time due to an Andre Ayew strike in the 100th minute.

Black Stars coach Appiah, though, is not getting carried away, more so considering the upsets Egypt 2019 has seen so far.

"Right from day one, I said you can never underrate any team," Appiah said at the pre-match press conference.

"The fact that Egypt and Cameroon are out should tell you what is happening.

"In football nowadays, you don't have to rely on past achievement so if we have had the upper hand over Tunisia doesn't mean it is going to be easy."

Ghana have registered four goals and conceded twice so far at this year's tournament while Tunisia have netted twice and let in same number of goals.