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Gyan, Ayew brothers excluded from Ghana squad to face Kenya

Kenyan defenders Musa Mohammed, David ‘Calabar’ Owino and Aboud Omar and David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng’ will have the unenviable task of shutting out Ghana’s deadly attack even in the absence of three key strikers when the two teams lock horns early next month.

Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey, who was instrumental in the Spanish based team’s triumph in the Europa League last season, will lead the star studded Black Stars squad to Nairobi for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Harambee Stars on September 7.

In the absence of star players Asamoah Gyan and siblings Andre and Jordan Ayew, Partey will be partnered upfront with Raphael Dwamena who plies his trade with Spanish side Levante UD.

Asamoah and the Ayew brothers have surprisingly been excluded in the squad by coach Kwesi Appiah, reportedly for ‘personal’ reasons.

“Considering the performance of the duo, especially Jordan Ayew in the latter part of last season, one would have expected him to make the list of players called upon to represent the country. But Appiah feels their services are not required and you can’t begrudge him much for that because he grinds results and Ghanaians feel the team at the moment is unpredictable,” a source in Accra told Nairobi News.

TITANIC BATTLE

Meanwhile, Black Stars defenders Harrison Afful, Leicester City’s Daniel Amartey and Nicholas Opoku will be tasked with keeping Kenya’s strike force of Michael Olunga, Jesse Were and Masoud Juma at bay during the contest at Kasarani stadium.

Newcastle’s Christian Atsu and Inter Milan’s Kwado Asamoah will face Anthony Akumu, Victor Wanyama (if fit) and Johanna Omollo and Eric Johanna in what promises to be a titanic midfield battle.

Kenya, who lost 2-1 to Sierra Leone  in Free Town in their opening match of this four team pool, need a win in this clash to revive their hopes of playing at next year’s tournament in Cameroon.

The Black Stars meanwhile defeated Ethiopia in their opening game and are considered favourites to top the group. This will be Harambee Stars coach Sebastien Migne’s first match at the helm.

Ghana Squad: Goalkeepers – Lawrence Ati (Sochaux, France), Richard Ofori (Martizburg, South Africa), Defenders – Harrison Afful (Columbus, USA) Daniel Opare (Antwerp, Belgium) Kassim Nuhu (1899 Hoffenheim, Germany) John Boye (FC Metz, France) Daniel Amartey (Leicester City, England) Andy Yiadom (Reading, England) Nicholas Opoku (Udinese, Italy) Midfielders – Afriyie Acquah (Empoli, Italy) Isaac Sackey (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Ebenezer Ofori (New York City, USA) Christian Atsu (Newcastle, England) Edwin Gyasi (CSKA Sofia, Bulgaria) Kwadwo Asamoah (Inter Milan, Italy) Frank Acheampong (Tianjin Teda, China) Nana Ampomah (Waasland-Beveren, Belgium), Forwards – Raphael Dwamena (Levante UD, Spain) Thomas Partey (Atlético Madrid, Spain) Majeed Waris (FC Nantes, France) William Owusu (Antwerp, Belgium) Coach – Kwesi Appiah