NAIROBI, Kenya – Kenya coach Sebastien Migne, has named his final 24-man squad for Saturday’s Afcon Group F qualifier against Ghana in Nairobi. The biggest absentee is captain and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama who will be unavailable for the tie having just returned to training after a month-long layoff.
“He (Wanyama) has some difficulty with his knee and we cannot take the risk because of his future career. It’s a huge problem because he is the captain and one of the best players on the team. He plays for Tottenham and that shows how much he is important. But what can I do? I cannot cry. I have to find a solution; I have to find another option,” Migne said.
The tactician will also be without another midfielder, MacDonald Mariga, who is Wanyama’s elder brother. Despite the absence of the two midfield kingpins, Migne is confident that his side can get something over Ghana and put back Kenya’s hope of qualifying for the final tournament for the first time since 2004 on track. Kenya started the campaign with a 2-1 loss away to Sierra Leone and the Ghana tie will be crucial as far as the campaign is concerned.
“Ghana is a big team, I can say one of the top five teams in Africa and for sure it will be a tough game. I cannot say that Kenya is better than Ghana. What I can say is we will give our best to get a result.
“I have watched their last two games where they won away to Japan and drew 2-2 with Iceland and I have some idea of what to expect from them. My team is ready and everyone is focused on the game,” the Frenchman noted.
This will be the Migne’s first official assignment in a CAF recognized fixture since he was appointed to lead the East African side. He has had two friendly matches with the team in Nairobi before playing in the Heroes InterContinental Cup in India, though this was mostly with locally-based players.
He had a glimpse of his entire squad on Tuesday when most of the foreign-based stars arrived, and he says he is pleased with their quality. Kenya are third in the group with Ghana sitting top after whipping Ethiopia 5-0 in their opening match of the campaign. They are expected in Nairobi on Friday morning from Ethiopia where they have pitched camp for this game.
African News Agency (ANA)