Ghana get the 26th Africa Cup of Nations under way on Sunday when the hosts face Guinea as they bid to earn a record equalling fifth-title.

Africa Cup of Nations, Group A
Date: Sunday, 20 January
Kick-off: 1700 GMT
Venue: Ohene Djan Stadium, Accra
BBC Coverage: BBC Sport website, live on BBC – via red button – & highlights on BBC3 at 1900 BST

Ghana won two of their titles on home soil, though the Black Stars have not won the tournament for 26 years.

Claude Le Roy’s side are without captain Stephen Appiah due to injury, but their French coach is unconcerned.

Le Roy said: “I’m fortunate, I’ve a lot of players who can bring something to the team. I’ve a lot of possibilities.”

Guinea have got some of the best players in the French league

 

Ghana coach Claude Le Roy

In Appiah’s absence, much will be expected of Michael Essien of Chelsea and Portsmouth’s Sulley Muntari.

“I feel really proud to be wearing my country’s shirt,” said Essien. “The reception when we all arrived at the airport was fantastic.”

Guinea, who topped their qualifying table, were quarter-finalists in the two previous tournaments.

The last time the two teams met was in 2004 when Ghana won with a last-minute goal.

Coached by Frenchman Robert Nouzaret, Guinea have high expectations of St Etienne midfielder Pascal Feindouno, a player that Le Roy has pinpointed as a danger to the hosts.

“Guinea are a skilful football team,” said Le Roy, who guided Cameroon to the title in 1988.

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“They’ve got some of the best players in the French league. It’s a well balanced side and we know it’ll be very complicated.

“They’ve players who can create problems, like Pascal Feindouno, but it’s important we get a win on the table.”

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