5 players who will be crucial to Ghana's victory against Portugal in World Cup clash

L R Kudus, Salisu, Partey, Inaki, Ati Zigi A photo of five players who will be crucial to Ghana's victory against Portugal

Wed, 23 Nov 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Ghana's Black Stars face Portugal for the second time in the FIFA World Cup, following a 2-1 defeat in the first meeting in Brazil in 2014.

Ghana in 2014 met Portugal in the final group game needing to win to stand a chance of making it out of the group after drawing against Germany but Asamoah Gyan's equalizer to cancel John Boye's own goal was not enough as Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the second half to win game for the Seleçãos.

Ghana and Portugal have been paired in the same World Cup group game after 8 years but this time around, the lives of the two countries in this tournament won't depend on this opening game as they will have two additional games to play in the group.

However, a win for either side will be huge for the winner's chances of progressing out of the group because the other group opponents, Korea and Uruguay won't be push overs.

Going into the game, Portugal have the edge because Ghana is the least ranked team in the World Cup but the Black Stars will be counting on their win over 15th ranked Switzerland in the Pre-World Cup friendly game as a turning point for them.

Ahead of the much anticipated, GhanaWeb takes a look at 5 players who will be key for Ghana if the Black Stars are to get a win in the World Cup Group H opening game regardless of the quality of the Portuguese team.

Lawrence Ati Zigi

In the absence of Jojo Wallacott and Richard Ofori who are both missing the World Cup because of injuries, the mantle falls to Lawrence Ati Zigi as the most experienced goalkeeper in the camp of the Black Stars in Qatar.

Barring any injuries or sickness, Lawrence Ati Zigi will surely start in the game against Portugal like he did against Switzerland in the Pre-World Cup friendly game where he kept a clean sheet.

A clean sheet for Ati Zigi will be huge for him and Ghana as he can't have a bad against Portugal because his performance will in a long way determine the result Ghana get from the game.

Mohammed Salisu

The Southampton defender hasn't put a foot wrong since making his Black Stars debut in the September friendly game against Brazil.

Aside his defensive abilities, Salisu has also proven that he is a threat when attacking a set piece and that will be crucial for Ghana.

He has faced most of the Portugal players in the English Premier League and will he key to the attempt to tame Cristiano Ronaldo in the game.

Thomas Partey

The former Atletico Madrid player is arguably the best midfielder in the World as his performance for Arsenal in the English Premier is too glaring for anybody to ignore.

Portugal's strength is In their midfield and Partey will have to stand out in the game to give Ghana a chance in the opening game of Group H.

Partey will face Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes and William Calvaho and Ghanaians will be counting on him to be the difference.

Mohammed Kudus

He has shown that he has goals at his feet as well as being the most creative player in the current Black Stars target.

Just like Ghanaians will be targeting Bernardo Silva, the Portuguese will be keeping tabs on the Ajax midfielder who has shown that he can both score and create at the same time.

Mohammed Kudus missed the AFCON due to an injury and his absence was hugely felt as Ghana exited from the Group stages.

He is now fit and playing the best of football and the World Cup is the best platform to send a message to the World that he has arrived.

Inaki Williams

The Athletic Bilbao striker is yet to score in three games since making his switch from Spain to play for Ghana.

Inaki played against Brazil, Nicaragua and Switzerland and will certainly will start the game against Portugal.

Ghana has been lucking goals from it's attackers and Inaki coming to the party against the Portuguese might be our secret weapon in the game.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com