Fresh from a three-month hiatus, the fit-again West Ham United star is yet to rev up, making just two substitute appearances for The Hammers so far. His inclusion in Ghana squad for the Egypt battle despite his fragile form, underlines his importance to the team especially in a crucial mission like this one. Ayew may not be handed a starting spot, but joining the fray later on could make some notable difference.
The Newcastle United winger is currently enjoying a good run at his club, after scoring some few important goals and has been featuring regularly at St James’ Park. Buoyed by his reviving form, the 24-year-old is now eyeing a better future away from Rafael Benitez’s team. However, the Egypt game is a huge opportunity for him to confirm his definite return from the wilderness, after spending much of his career this far as a loanee.
In Alexandria, on November 13, the Pharaohs are likely to get underway in a frenetic pace, in a bid to claim an early lead and disrupt the visitors’ game plan. Baba needs to be in his good day to marshal Ghana’s defensive forces, even further from the back, in order to break and curtail the adversities. Strength, stamina and anticipation would be essential prerequisites for a successful defence against Hector Cuper’s men.
Samuel Tetteh has been assuming the role of injured top scorer Asamoah Gyan, although drawing mixed reviews from local pundits. The FC Liefering forward, who is on loan from FC Red Bull Salzburg, has scored 10 goals in 17 games for his current team in the Austrian Football First League. He was also on target in Ghana’s dead rubber encounter against Rwanda in the 2017 Afcon qualifier, which ended in a 1-1. Avram Grant is hoping for the gods to speak in favour of Tetteh on Sunday.
He is a key player in Ghana’s defence and has shown consistency since 2009, even more than John Boye. Facing Egypt however would test furthermore his maturity, experience and ability to coordinate in the back half. The Black Stars have a better international exposure than the Pharaohs, and if that should count in Alexandria, Mensah ought to be one of those to cash in on it in favour of the West Africans.