World Cup play-off: Egypt v Ghana preview and Algeria v Burkina Faso preview
Last Updated: 18/11/13 5:14pm
Asamoah Gyan: Called for concentration
Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan is taking nothing for granted despite his side boasting a 6-1 lead heading into the second leg of their World Cup play-off against Egypt, warning that in football "anything can happen" (kick-off 4pm).
Gyan struck twice in the first-leg mauling in Kumasi a month ago and it would need an incredible turnaround to deny the Black Stars a third successive spot in the World Cup finals.
However, Al-Ain striker Gyan is refusing to accept his side are already assured of their berth in Brazil and wants his team to be 100 per cent focused on Tuesday's return meeting with Egypt in Cairo.
"We're desperate to get back to the World Cup, but we have to make sure we do things in the right way in the second leg," said Gyan, who has represented his country in the last two World Cups and helped them reach the quarter-finals in 2010.
"It's football, so anything can happen."
He added on www.ghanafa.org: "We're in a comfortable position right now, but we need to totally focus on our job and make sure we do what we have to do to reach Brazil. We have to do things the right way in Cairo."
Egypt, who won a record seventh African Nations Cup title in 2010, went into the first leg on the back of a five-match winning streak but a nightmare 90 minutes at the Baba Yara Stadium has all but ended their World Cup dreams.
If his side are going to bow out though, Egypt coach Bob Bradley wants them to do it with their heads held high.
"I'm satisfied with our preparations. We know the mission is extremely difficult, but I have told the players our goal is to restore our pride and defend our name.
"We will fight till the last moment and play to win," said Bradley on www.cafonline.com.
The Pharaohs warmed up for the visit of Ghana with a 2-0 friendly win over Zambia at the weekend.
Tuesday's other African World Cup play-off second leg pits Algeria against Burkina Faso (kick-off 6.15pm).
Unlike the game in Cairo, both nations will head into the match in Blida carrying realistic hopes of getting to Brazil next year with African Nations Cup runners-up Burkina Faso holding a narrow 3-2 lead from the first leg at home.
Algeria twice battled back from a goal down to level the scores up at 2-2 before Burkina Faso snatched a later winner thanks to a controversial late penalty from Aristide Bance, given for a dubious handball offence.
Burkina Faso will be grateful for that one-goal lead as Algeria have not been beaten in Blida in over a decade.
Visiting coach Paul Put knows it is a tough task facing his side, but is staying positive.
He said on www.dzfoot.com: "Algeria are respected because they have a very good team, they have players who play in the major leagues, they have much more experience and have played in three World Cups, but in football anything is possible.
Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic is determined not to let their World Cup dream slip away, saying: "I've never had such a desire to win as now.
"The defeat in the first leg in Ouagadougou really got to me. I hardly slept the following week."