Six Ghana players Portugal need to watch ahead of Group H fixture

Ghana open their 2022 World Cup camping with Thursday’s evening fixture against Portugal.

Ahead of the game, Futball Surgery looks at six players that Portugal need to watch carefully.

Tariq Lamptey

Tariq Lamptey completed nationality switch from England to Ghana ahead of the 2022 World Cup. The Chelsea academy graduate made his Black Stars debut in Ghana 3-0 loss to Brazil and impressed in the game.

Lamptey will compete with Club Brugge’s Denis Odoi for a right-back position but the Brighton defender looks favourites on Otto Addo’s radar.

Lamptey, 22, provide the perfect blend of attacking and defending qualities unlike some right-backs who fall short in one of the opposing aspects.

Who ever starts on the attacking left for Portugal, he will be tasked with a challenge of overcoming Tariq Lamptey who can score as well.

He netted in Brighton’s League Cup victory over Arsenal prior to the World Cup.

Mohammed Salisu

Mohammed Salisu who snubbed Ghana ahead of 2022 AFCON in Cameroon finally honoured Black Stars invitation for Qatar 2022 World Cup.

The Ghanaian International has been sensational since joining Southampton in 10million pounds deal from Laliga outfit Real Valladolid in August 2020. Salisu made his debut for Ghana against Brazil and scored his debut goal against Switzerland in Black Star’s last friendly game to the World Cup.

The Premier League star is expected to start against Portugal and offer both on the ground and in the air solidity. Arguably Salisu is Otto Addo’s most trusted central defender. If Portugal men Joao Felix, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andre Silva will have problem scoring, Mohammed Salisu will be on of the main reasons.

Portugal need to be aware of his presence and find the solutions for breaking through Ghana’s defense that may consist of Salisu Mohammed.

Salisu can also score from set pieces where Ghana have been weak since the retirement of John Mensah from the Black Stars. Salisu fills the void against Portugal.

Thomas Partey

Thomas Partey’s goal made the difference as Ghana sealed World Cup victory over Nigeria. After a goalless draw in Kumasi, Black Stars drew 1-1 in the return leg in Nigeria.

This season, the Ghanaian has helped Arsenal on course of their first Premier League title since 2004. Partey will be lined up in midfield to against Portugal’s William Carvalho, Otavio and Bruno Fernandes.

Partey will form the base in Ghana’s attack but his defensive abilities have been under criticisms recently which Portugal can utilize that. He is man if Portugal cancel out, it will have much on Ghana’s defeat.

Andre Ayew

Andre Ayew will be making his third World Cup appearance following 2010 and 2014. He scored in Ghana’s 2-2 draw against Germany in Brazil.

He is a likeliest source of goal for Black Stars and offers a balance to the team.

Ayew and his brother Jordan are the only members from the Ghana side that lost 2-1 to Portugal. His powerful long drives and header are the two things Portugal need to be watchful.

Kudus Mohammed

Kudus has already made a himself a comparison with Brazilian superstar Neymar heading into the Portugal clash. He will be Ghana’s playmaker and if the West African country will make success in breaking through the defense line of Portugal much will depend on Kudus Mohammed.

The Ghanaian International has hit the ground running in the Champions League scoring against some European elite clubs, Liverpool. Kudus has struck 4 times in 6 Champions League games so far and tipped to show the same performance in the World Cup starting with opening game against Portugal.

Inaki Williams

The Athletico Bilbao forward completed nationality switch to Ghana ahead of the World Cup and is expected to start on the right side of attack.

His strength gives Ghana an edge up front that could allow other supporting players penetrate Portugal’s defense. Abdul Fatawu Issahaku starting ahead of Inaki Williams will allow Portugal come forward the more due to the single player that need to handle the Sporting Lisbon winger unlike Inaki who requires at least two players to handle him.

The attacker is amongst Ghana’s likeliest source of goal this evening.

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