Ghana v Botswana preview
Black Stars get campaign started at Stade de Franceville
Last Updated: 24/01/12 11:26am
Gyan: Leading Ghana's line
Ghana begin their bid for Africa Cup of Nations glory against finals debutants Botswana at Stade de Franceville on Tuesday.
The Black Stars, four-time African champions and finalists two years ago, are expected to dominate Group D, which also includes Mali and Guinea.
Coach Goran Stevanovic will, however, be without the services of central defender Isaac Vorsah.
The Hoffenheim man is suspended after being handed a red card in his country's final qualifier with Sudan.
Ghana captain John Mensah should benefit from Vorsah's absence, although there are question marks over the former's fitness after a lengthy lay-off through injury.
Left-back is also a concern for Stevanovic, with either youngster Daniel Opare or recently capped Massawudu Alhassan set to meet the challenge.
Stevanovic will rely on UAE-based striker Asamoah Gyan to cause damage up front, while much is expected from big-name players in Asamoah Kwadwo, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, Sulley Muntari and Andre Ayew.
Botswana, who were the first team to book their spot at this year's showpiece, have a clean bill of health save for injured winger Joel Mogorosi.
The Zebras will look to experienced skipper Dipsy Selolwane to provide stability in midfield, while Jerome Ramatlhakwane, with five goals in qualifying, is their main threat going forward.
The diamond-rich nation trained in neighbouring South Africa as well as Cameroon ahead of the tournament, with their final warm-up game against Zimbabwe in Gaborone scrapped due to a pay dispute.
Africa Cup of Nations Group A
Africa Cup of Nations Group B
Africa Cup of Nations Group C
Africa Cup of Nations Group D