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06.05.2008 General News

Essien To Miss Australia Friendly?

By ghanasoccernet -
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Both sides should be able to call on several of their overseas-based stars following the completion of most of the top European leagues for the game on May 23 at Sydney Football Stadium.

But as the match falls only two days after the Champions League final, the availability of superstar Essien is a major doubt as his club Chelsea will play Manchester United in the final in Moscow.

Essien must also participate in the club’s post match procession in London if they win the title and a 24-hour flight to Sydney means he will be too tired for the game.

He must also play in the crucial opening World Cup qualifier against Libya, one week after the Australia friendly and playing in the Champions League final and Australia game could affect his fitness for the game against the north Africans.

Despite the likely absence of Essien, Football Federation of Australia chief executive, Ben Buckley, is adamant Ghana would field their strongest possible side.

'There’s conditions in our agreement that says they have to field a full-strength team, so we’re confident that they will have their best available squad,’’ said Buckley.

Ghana, ranked 15th in the world, 23 places above Australia, have only faced the Socceroos on one previous occasion.

The teams drew 1-1 in London in November 2006.

Ghana finished third in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, which they hosted.—

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