FIFA World Cup Qualifying Preview: Ghana v Zambia
By Football News
Ahead of the winner-take-all fixture that will decide who progresses to the final round of African qualifying from Group D, the visitors have claimed they are preparing themselves for attempts at intimidation when they make the trip to Kumasi.
Zambian sports minister Chishimba Kambwili admitted that the squad will travel to Ghana on a chartered plane for the vital fixture to avoid any possible distractions.
"A charter is extremely convenient for the team’s travel into Ghana," he told The Post Newspapers.
"There are other factors that we considered. The information coming from Ghana...it is alleged, not proved, that there will be intimidation, so we cannot take chances."
Kambwili does, though, have full confidence that Herve Renard’s side can claim the win they need to progress to the next round of qualifying - despite suffering disappointment recently when they were dumped out of African Nations Championship qualification following a two-legged defeat to Zimbabwe.
"We have beaten Ghana before and it is not a different Ghana that we have beaten," Kambwili added.
"Even if they are calling all (their) big names, it does not make any difference; it just amounts to panicking, so we can win that match."
Zambia head into the clash second in Group D, but only one point behind their hosts - with the top side qualifying for the last stage.
A 1-0 victory over the Black Stars in Ndola in June has set up a tense finish to the group, although Ghana have been boosted by the inclusion of several of their big-name players for the clash.
Schalke's Kevin Prince-Boateng, Marseille's Andre Ayew, Spartak Moscow's Majeed Waris and Stromsgodset's Adam Kwarasey have all joined up with the rest of Kwesi Appiah’s party after arriving in Accra on Monday.
The other members of the squad trained at the Accra Sports Stadium on Monday in preparation for the clash, where a draw or better will see Ghana through to the third and final qualifying round for the chance to play in Brazil in 2014.
Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien is also included in the 26-man squad - who will also take on Japan in a friendly in Yokohama on September 10 - despite the death of his father.
Ghana head into the clash having beaten Lesotho 2-0 in their last qualifier in June.