The Black Stars of Ghana will take on the Seleção Canarinho of Brazil today at the Stade Oceane, Le Havre, France in the evening in a pre-world cup friendly as part of preparations for the global showpiece later this year in Qatar.
History is huge between these two nations, one global superpower and one that has forced respect from its peers globally owing to its pedigree in its region and a few flashes of excellence at the Mundial. While the two cannot be matched in terms of quality and success, both offer something big of a test ahead of the tournament.
We look a the key areas such as recent form and head-to-head between the two teams to inform readers of the likely outcome.
both teams have played six matches since the start of the year and have contrasting results. Some of the matches were World Cup qualifiers and both have made it to the tournament regardless of the contrasting outcomes of the matches.
Ghana began 2022 with a pre-AFCON friendly against Algeria in Doha and it ended 3-0 against the Black Stars. At the tournament proper, Ghana was humiliated as it exited the group stage for the first time in over a decade. On its way to exit, Ghana lost to Morocco 1-0, drew with Gabon 1-1 and lost to minnows Comoros 3-2.
In March, Ghana entered the final play-off round for the World Cup against Nigeria who flattered to deceive at the Nations Cup in January. Though the Super Eagles exited the tournament a stage later than Ghana, it was the strongest of the two sides and Ghana’s new technical team led by Otto Addo had a task to overcome. a scoreless draw in Kumasi saw the Stars’ confidence shoot up ahead of the return leg in Abuja. Playing in a packed Moshood Abiola Stadium in the national capital, the Blacks pulled ahead through Thomas Teye Partey but Nigeria levelled from the penalty spot. Ghana, however, held onto to end the match 1-1 and advance via the away goal rule.
Two African Cup of Nations qualifiers followed in June with a 3-0 win against Madagascar and a 1-1 draw Central Africa Republic draw for the Black Stars to put them at the top of Group E. That was followed immediately by one heavy defeat to Japan [4-1] and a goalless draw against Chile which was decided on penalties with Ghana edging the South Americans out by 1-3.
In all the 10 matches played within the period, Ghana alternated between a 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 attacking system when it set up to attack and those scenarios have yielded five draws and a defeat, seven goals conceded and one goal scored. A 4-4-2 double 6 system has also been used, one by former coach Milovan Rajevac and one by Otto Addo. While Milovan recorded a 2-3 defeat against Comoros with that system, Otto Addo secured an impressive 3-0 win against Madagascar. Otto Addo experimented with a 3-5-2 system against Japan with Alidu Seidu, Daniel Amartey and Edmund Addo at the back and Wakaso Mubarak, Christoper Antwi-Adjei and Kudus Mohammed operating from the middle while Andy Yiadom and Dennis Korsah operating as wingbacks in a depleted squad that also had the Ayew brothers playing as the front two. However, not all of them are expected in the XI against Brazil with first choice Alexander Djiku returning to action and the preferred Baba Rahman and Gideon Mensah available for the left back slot and Dennis Odoi available for right back. There are also bound to change in the middle of the pack. New additions have also been welcomed at the Stars’ camp and would influence selection against Brazil.
Brazil has played six matches in 2022, recording five wins and one draw. The wins came against Paraguay, Chile and Bolivia when they were deployed in a 4-3-3 as against Paraguay and 4-2-3-1 against Chile and Bolivia all in World Cup qualifiers. Each of the matches ended with at least four goals for the Selecao. Tite deployed Matheus Cunha, Richarlison and Neymar Jr as the arrowhead in each of the matches with either Vinicius Jr(2), Antony(2), Phillipe Coutinho(1) and Raphina(1) operating as the wide men in the midfield. The only time the system failed to produce many goals and a win was against Ecuador where Vinicius Jr and Raphinha operated wide and Matheus Cunha operated as the centre forward.
Against South Korea and Japan in international friendlies, Tite set up a 4-4-2 double 6 against the former and that ended 5-1 for the five times World champions with goals from Neymar Jr (2), Richarlison, Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus. Against Japan, Tite used a 4-2-3-1 with Neymar Jr again scoring the goal that secured the slim win.
Head to Head
Ghana has faced Brazil on three occasions with Brazil winning all three matches. One was in the World Cup in 2006 when Brazil secured a convincing win with a goal each from Ronaldo, Adriano and Ze Roberto to condemn Ghana to a defeat that saw the Black Stars exit the tournament in the Round of 16. The next two were friendlies where Vagner Love and Leandro Damiao were the scorers in each match, the last match was in 2011 in London. Thus, Ghana has faced the South Americans in three official matches, lost all three, conceded 5 goals and scored none.
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