LIBREVILLE (Reuters): Ivory Coast and Ghana are heavily fancied to succeed in Wednesday’s African Nations Cup semi-finals and set up a dream finish to the tournament at the weekend.
The two countries are not only neighbours but also the continent’s top-ranked sides and the form sides at the tournament co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
Ghana, who were World Cup quarter-finalists 18 months ago, take on Zambia first at Bata in Equatorial Guinea, hoping captain John Mensah will have recovered from another injury at the finals. He was carried off during Sunday’s quarter-final win over Tunisia.
The Ivory Coast, the top-ranked side on the continent, have injury concerns over striker Salomon Kalou, who has to pass a late fitness test, ahead of their meeting with Mali in Libreville.
“It’s a difficult thing to be the favourites and when you play against a team who really have nothing to lose,” said Ivory Coast coach Francois Zahoui.
Wednesday’s winners proceed to Sunday’s final in the Gabon capital. The losers fly to Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, for a third place playoff on Saturday.
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