Big names missing for Black Stars
Despite their absence, coach Milovan Rajevac has named a strong group that includes 12 players who appeared at last month's FIFA World Cup™, where they reached the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.
Chelsea midfielder Essien, who missed the global finals through injury, is still absent as he continues his rehabilitation from a knee injury ahead of the new season. But no reasons have been given for the omission of Muntari and Appiah, while there is also no place for John Pantsil and eight others who were on duty in South Africa.
Instead, Rajevac has called up Cofie Bekoe, Harrison Afful, Bernard Kumordzi, Haminu Draman, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu and Yaw Antwi in an 18-man list named for next Wednesday's game in Johannesburg.
The match will be played at Soccer City, the scene of the South Africa 2010 Final and the venue at which the Black Stars were knocked out of the tournament by Uruguay on penalties.
Goalkeepers: Richard Kingson (unattached), Daniel Agyei (Liberty Professionals)
Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Basel), Harrison Afful (Esperance), John Mensah (Lyon), Lee Addy (Bechem Chelsea), Jonathan Mensah (Granada)
Midfielders: Anthony Annan (Rosenborg), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese), Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Portsmouth), Cofie Bekoe (Petrojet), Bernard Kumordzi (Panionios FC)
Forwards: Asamoah Gyan (Rennes), Dominic Adiyiah (AC Milan), Haminu Draman (Lokomotiv Moscow), Yaw Antwi (FK Vojvodina).