World Cup Preview | Ghana v Uruguay

Ghana take on Uruguay in what is a high-stakes World Cup grudge match, with both teams still in with a chance of qualification for the last 16.

It has been 12 years since the infamous quarter-final tie in Johannesburg when Luis Suárez prevented a certain winning goal with a handball on the line in the dying moments of extra-time, only for Asamoah Gyan to miss the resulting penalty and Ghana to heartbreakingly lose in the following penalty shootout. It was an act for which Ghanaian fans still hold plenty of animosity for the culprit, the ever-divisive Suarez, who was seen as the villain far beyond Ghana but the now 35-year-old however remains a hero in Uruguay.

Revenge for the Black Stars would not only be a huge moral win for the nation but would also see them reach the last 16, however, a draw could still suffice should Portugal avoid defeat to South Korea. Thanks to their draw with South Korea and defeat by the Portuguese, anything less than a win would see Uruguay eliminated.

Team News: Ghana defender Gideon Mensah has declared his fitness for the game after a late substitution against Korea in a thrilling 3-2 win. For Uruguay, Suarez may not be seen against the nation which holds such disdain for him, as he dropped to the bench against Portugal, limited to just a late cameo. Meanwhile, Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo won’t feature as he still isn’t fit following his thigh surgery.

Ghana predicted XI: Ati-Zigi; Lampety, Amartey, Karim, Baba; Samed, Party; Sulemana, Kudus, Ayew; Williams.

Uruguay predicted XI: Rochet; Caceres, Godin, Gimenez, Olivera; Vecino, Bentancur, Valverde; Pellistri, Suarez, Nunez.

Prediction | Ghana 3-1 Uruguay – The Black Stars should have too much for this sorry Uruguay side who have looked utterly void of threat in this World Cup so far. The baggage of the rivalry between the sides will also weigh heavily and, therefore, a Ghana win to allow the African side to progress seems likely. Additionally, apparent trouble in the Uruguay camp with Edinson Cavani seemingly blaming manager Diego Alonso for the Portugal loss and defender José María Giménez suggesting his team didn’t go out to win only adds to the negativity around their camp.

Jonathan Maze | GWFN

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