The football world is heading into an international break this week as players depart from their respective clubs to join up with their nation across the globe.
In Europe the UEFA Nations League group stage is coming to an end this week. France only need to avoid defeat against the Netherlands to win their group, whilst Belgium, Portugal and Spain are all in prime positions to join the world champions in the semi-finals next summer.
Victory for Portugal against either Italy or Poland would see them win their group. Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping to fire the Euro 2016 winners into the inaugural final of the new UEFA tournament. You can track his progress and watch the games live at ronaldo7.net.
A victory for Spain at home to Croatia would see them enter the semi-finals next summer, whilst a win for Belgium in Switzerland on Sunday would be enough for them also.
Ghana are in action against Ethiopia on Sunday in which three points for James Kwesi Appiah’s side will put them in a good position to qualify for the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
The Black Stars have picked up three points from their opening two matches and are only one point behind Ethiopia despite playing two games fewer. Kenya top the group on seven points after four games in which the top two nations qualify for the tournament in Cameroon next summer.
We thrashed Ethiopia 5-0 in June 2017 in the first meeting between the two nations, whilst our subsequent matches versus Sierra Leone were both cancelled last month due to the opposition’s suspension by FIFA. The CAF are yet to decide on what will happen next.
Our all-time top goalscorer, Asamoah Gyan, could continue to lead the line for us in Ethiopia next week, though the striker has only played 49 minutes across four substitute appearances in the Turkish Super Lig for Kayserispor so far this campaign.
Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey is seeing more game time under Diego Simeone this season and already has seven goals in 17 caps for the national team. The 25-year-old has a bright future ahead of him and will be hoping to help fire us to Cameroon next summer.
Our final match of the qualifying group is at home to Kenya in March. We were beaten 1-0 in Kasarani back in September. Depending on what happens to Sierra Leone between now and then, we could already be qualified before our final group match, should we beat Ethiopia this weekend.