England host Ghana tonight in an International Friendly at Wembley and once again Fabio Capello has ensured the England team are not coming into it quietly. After the controversy surrounding the captaincy leading up to the Wales game on Saturday, there will be yet another new man to lead England out in Gareth Barry.
That is because Capello has released John Terry from the squad, along with Wayne Rooney, Michael Dawson, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cold and Aaron Lennon. Danny Welbeck has also earned himself a late call-up (with Lennon pulling out due to a potential injury scare) after a promising first half of the season with Sunderland, before it was halted by a knee injury in January.
The side Fabio Capello is putting out tonight has already being met with displeasure by a number of parties, none less than Ghanaian legend Stephen Appiah who has slammed Capello and said the Black Stars were really looking forward to pitting their wits against the England senior players such as John Terry and Frank Lampard. Having said this, the England side tonight will still be a strong one, with Joe Hart expected to start in goal, along with Everton duo Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka and Bolton centre half Gary Cahill. There will also be a start up front for Liverpool man Andy Carroll. Midfield general Scott Parker faces a late fitness test but he may well feature.
Ghana travel to London on the back of a 3-0 away win in an African Cup of Nations Qualifier against Congo on Saturday. They have sold a remarkable 21,000 tickets for the Wembley showpiece tonight and that promises to deliver a spectacular atmosphere under the lights. The Black Stars are four times African Champions and are ranked just 10 places below England in the rankings, sitting in 16th place. Their excellent World Cup run took them to the Quarter Finals where they were only denied a Semi Final place by the infamous Luis Suarez handball on the line and the resultant penalty miss by Asamoah Gyan.
The Ghana team boasts many familiar names to the English Premier League such as captain John Mensah and Sunderland front man Asamoah Gyan. Michael Essien is a notable absentee from the squad but their manager is blessed with a squad of Under 20 players who have just won the World U20 Championships to choose from.
One of their rising stars is 22 year old Udinese playmaker Kwadwo Asamoah, who has been tipped by many in the African football world as the new Jay-Jay Okotcha. He promises to be one for the future.
The Ghana manager likes to play a defensive looking 4-2-3-1 formation but they will look to attack England at every opportunity in search of a historical first win for an African side against the English. The game promises to be a great spectacle and one that the Ghanaian players and public will relish. It is sure to be a very difficult test for the African stars, but will they make history tonight?
England v Ghana Betting Tips
England are available at 1.85, Ghana 5.3 and the Draw is 3.65 (Betfair). England’s price is probably short enough given that backers will be somewhat going into the unknown with this new look England side. There will be England players looking to lodge a claim for a place in the European Championship 2012 squad and that could mean a solid England performance tonight.
I fancy there will be goals with the Black Stars looking to make history by beating England, and the England players not wanting to disappoint a capacity Wembley crowd. England to score in both halves is 3.05 (Betfair), but my bet of the night will be Over 2.5 goals at 2.22 (Betfair). As a lively outside bet, I also like England to come from behind and win at 10.5 (Betfair).
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