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Rupert Wyman 30th Jan 2010 - 18:17

Is the final a step too far for Ghana?

It is the youth of Ghana in the final playing against an experienced Egypt side that are looking to make it three Africa Cup of Nations wins in a row.

Defending champions Egypt strolled into the final with a 4-0 victory against their hated North African rivals Algeria who were reduced to eight men.

They have played some scintillating football in Angola, winning all five games and scoring fourteen goals so far and just conceding two.

The Egyptian team suffered a few knocks during their ill tempered match against Algeria. Key players Wael Gomaa and Emad Moteab may not play a part in the final and Mahmoud Fathalla is suspended.

Asamoah Gyan scored the winner for Ghana whose defence needed little help in keeping the wasteful Nigerians at bay in their semi final.

Their solid goalkeeper, Richard Kingston was arguably man of the match and played a major part for Ghana, who reached their first final in eighteen years.

This Ghana side has surprised many critics by reaching the final, missing more than five of their regular stars, including Appiah, Muntari and Essien.

Ghana's injury problems have plagued them throughout this campaign. They are concerned about the fitness of Richard Kingson for the final.

Ghana lost 3-1 to Ivory Coast in their first game in the competition but they have gradually improved as the competition has progressed. They are capable of playing good football and are winning their matches on merit.

The stand out bet is the Match Handicap Market, Egypt -1 goal at 3/1. I expect it to be a goal scoring, high octane final, with Egypt terrorising an indecisive Ghanaian defence.

Ghana may find the final quite overwhelming and may be naive with their decision making and underestimate Egypt's strength.

I would also back Egypt to score in both halves at 3/1.

The Pharaohs' coach Shehata will adopt a strategy to dominate the midfield and guard the defence from any leakage, whilst trying to score as many as possible to finish off the game.

Egypt will see this final as a golden opportunity to be the first country to win the title three times in a row and this final may be a step too far for a Ghanaian team that will continue progressing.



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