Former Ghana international, John Paintsil believes the technical handlers must pay attention to Cape Verde and Mozambique ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) since Egypt is no more a threat.
Ghana have been housed in Group B ahead of the 34th edition of the AFCON in Ivory Coast next year alongside the above countries.
However, Paintsil said underdogs, Cape Verde and Mozambique should be the main focus for Ghana rather than the seven-time champions, Egypt.
Speaking to Graphic Sports, the former West Ham United and Fulham defender said the technical handlers must not place too much emphasis on Egypt’s perceived strength, as they are not currently among the continent’s strongest teams.
”For me, the other two teams, take Egypt out, are the most dangerous teams. Cape Verde and Mozambique are the teams that can pose a threat to Ghana because it is very difficult to play against these teams,” Paintsil, who represented Ghana in six AFCON tournaments between 2002 and 2013 said.
Paintsil also praised Chris Hughton for reshaping the team with a new system that has solidified the midfield and incorporated skilled wingers, making the Black Stars a formidable force once again.
“I’ve watched our team play outside and also in Africa and I can say the players’ performance is as high as it is when they play for their clubs. So, for me Egypt is not a threat,” he said.
”If you look at the players that he is using the wingers are very strong and they are fast on the ball and they have about four [Mohammed] Kudus in the national team, and all of them are very dangerous,” he noted.
Ghana are currently preparing in the USA for the tournament slated from January 13 until February 11, 2024, with Ghana opening their account on January 14 against Cape Verde.
The Black Stars will hope to win the trophy to end the country’s 41-year trophyless jinx.