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Soccer News of Saturday, 31 May 2014


Black Stars eye revenge against The Netherlands

Exactly four years ago tomorrow, Ghana’s Black Stars received a reality check in Rotterdam when the Orange of Holland crushed them to a 4-1 defeat during their preparations for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

As if by design, Ghana will take on Holland in yet another friendly at the same venue this evening at the De Kuip Arena in Rotterdam but this time under the guidance of Coach Kwasi Appiah, incidentally the man who deputised for Milovan Rajevac when the two sides last clashed.

Although the Stars took consolation from the absence of midfield powerhouse Michael Essien four years ago, Coach Appiah is blessed with a full house consisting of a blend of experienced and younger players who are hungry to take Brazil by storm.

Indeed the surprises would start from today’s game as all the 26-man contingent will give their best in order to catch the eye of the coach who is scheduled to submit his finals 23-man list to FIFA by Monday.

This evening’s game promises to be interesting, particularly at the flanks where the gifted Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie are likely to operate from against Ghana’s fullbacks Harrison Afful and Jeffrey Schlupp who aspire to stop them in front of their home fans.

Ghana’s tactician Appiah has yet to win against a non-African side since taking charge two years ago, and coming up against an experienced Dutch coach Louis van Gaal is no easy task for the Ghanaian considering the array of big name stars available in the Dutch squad.

Pairing the likes of Afriyie Acquah, Rabiu Mohammed, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu and Michael Essien in midfield against Nigel de Jong, Wesley Sneijder, Jonathan de Guzman and Georginio Wijnaldum will be an interesting battle up in midfield.

Just as the contest between Asamoah Gyan and Majeed Warris against Ron Vlaar, Patrick van Aanholt and Bruno Martins Indi in the Holland defence could give the Stars coach an idea of what to expect in the World Cup tournament in Brazil.