DR Congo vs Mali 19:00 SS4
Niger vs Ghana 19:00 SS2
Ghana believes a physical and defensive Niger will pose their biggest challenge yet when the teams clash in a decisive Africa Cup of Nations Group B tie on Monday.
Second favourites behind Ivory Coast to win the tournament, the Black Stars of Ghana top Group B with four points after an opening-day stumble against the Democratic Republic of Congo when they drew after squandering a two-goal lead.
“We have watched Niger play DR Congo and Mali. They are a very physical and tactically disciplined team and this match will be more difficult than our first two,” warned midfielder Derek Boateng.
“Niger are no pushovers and we have to do more to beat them,” added Bristol City midfielder Albert Adomah.
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah said his team will have to be very fit and prepared for a physical battle at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in this Indian Ocean city.
“We have to be very prepared for this match against a very tactically disciplined side because this will most likely be our biggest test so far,” said Appiah.
Espanyol midfielder Mubarak Wakaso misses the game as he is serving a one-match ban after picking up his second booking of the tournament for his goal celebration against Mali.
The Black Stars will be up against the pumped-up Mena (Gazelles) of Niger, who defied the form book to hold DR Congo 0-0 for their first point in the competition after a defeat by Mali last week and losses to Gabon, Tunisia and Morocco in the 2012 Cup of Nations.
Niger skipper Moussa Maazou has admitted it will not be an easy game against one of the top teams in the tournament.
“It won’t be an easy match for us, but we will try our best,” vowed Maazou, whose team have watched videos of the two games involving Ghana.