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15.01.2010 Sports News

Essien to start in Ghana-IVC clash after training virtuoso

By ghanasoccernet.com
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Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien impressed in his first training session with his Ghana team-mates, giving hope of him earning a starting role in Friday's Group B clash against Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations.

The Chelsea ace was a major doubt for the Black Stars opening clash in Cabinda as he had just recovered from injury and arrived late in camp.

 
Essien, back to fitness after three weeks in the treatment room for a hamstring injury, was aggressive in training and lasted the entire duration 45 minutes session on Thursday evening.

 
The 27-year-old never showed signs of tiredness or pains as he tackled robustly and chased every ball on the field.

 
But head coach Milovan Rajevac is diplomatic about starting the enforcer in Friday's match against the Elephants.

 
"It's every difficult to say anything for now because he just arrived and yet to train with team but I will only decide on the day of the match," the Serbian said at the pre-match conference.

 
"We must show us he's ready to play and we will decide what to do."

 
A win for Ghana will automatically a book quarter-finals berth from the odd three-team table.

 
Ivory Coast drew one-all with Burkina Faso on Monday in their first Group match.

 
Probable Ghana line-up:
 
Kingson, Eric Addo, Isaac Vorsah, Samuel Inkoom, Ibrahim Ayew, Michael Essien, Agyeman Badu, Kwadwo Asamoah, Dede Ayew, Opoku Agyemang, Mathew Amoah.

 
Probable Ivory Coast line-up :
 
Boubacar Barry, Emmanuel Eboue, Kolo Toure, Arthur Boka, Souleman Bamba, Yaya Toure, Didier Zokora, Tiote Check, Didier Drogba, Kader Keita, Salomon Kalou.

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