Chris Hughton aims to bounce back to victory with the Black Stars against Madagascar in the team’s first 2026 World Cup qualifier which comes off on Friday, November 17, 2023, at the Baba Yara Stadium at 4 pm local time.

Ghana endured a terrible outing in their last two matches in October where they succumbed to two consecutive defeats, the firsts under Hughton. Mexico and the United States of America (USA) made the most of the four-time African champions by securing 2-0 and 4-0 victories respectively. Despite the losses coming in international friendlies, the performances raised concerns among the football community with most questioning the prospects of the team in a more difficult task in the World Cup qualifiers as well as the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations which kicks off in less than two months.

While the venue of the clash, the Baba Yara Stadium hands Ghana a huge advantage history wise, the resilience of their opponents the last time both teams met makes it a dicey encounter. Barea held Ghana to a goalless draw in their penultimate 2023 AFCON qualifier in June forcing Ghana to wait until the last match to determine their fate.

Meanwhile, Ghana could take solace in their victory against Madagascar last year in Cape Coast in the first match of the AFCON qualifiers under Otto Addo.

The upcoming clash serves as a pivotal moment for Hughton, who seeks to reaffirm his position with the team. However, the significance of this match extends beyond personal considerations, as Ghana aims to secure a crucial victory to enhance their prospects in the World Cup qualifiers.

With the new format requiring African teams to top their groups for direct qualification or potentially face playoffs, the Black Stars are eager to avoid a precarious situation and secure a decisive win against Madagascar.



Despite their poor displays, Ghana had not lost a match under Chris Hughton until their previous international friendlies with Mexico and the USA. They had secured two wins against the Central African Republic and Liberia after their draw with Madagascar.

18 June 2023           Madagascar    0–0    Ghana       2023 AFCON qualifiers

7 September 2023    Ghana            2–1    CAR          2023 AFCON qualifiers

12 September 2023  Ghana            3–1    Liberia      International Friendly

14 October 2023       Mexico           2–0    Ghana      International Friendly

17 October 2023       United States 4–0     Ghana      International Friendly


After losing back-to-back to the Central African Republic (CAR) in March in the qualifiers, Barea have been decent and avoided defeat in their last three games including their clash against Ghana in June. However, in their last five games, their only win came against Benin last month.

23 March 2023        Madagascar   0–3 CAR              2023 AFCON qualifiers

27 March 2023        CAR              2–0 Madagascar   2023 AFCON qualifiers

18 June 2023          Madagascar   0–0 Ghana           2023 AFCON qualifiers

7 September 2023   Angola          0–0 Madagascar   2023 AFCON qualifiers

17 October 2023      Madagascar   2–1 Benin            International Friendly

The two sides will be clashing for the third time with Ghana securing a win and the other ending in a draw in their last two meetings.

1 June 2022 Ghana 3-0 Madagascar  2023 AFCON qualifiers

17 June 2023 Madagascar 0-0 Ghana 2023 AFCON qualifiers



Due to injury, Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey was not included in the 25-man squad named by Chris Hughton. However, the captain of the side Andre Ayew has returned to the squad after securing a move to Le Havre in the French Ligue 1.

While Alexander Djiku remains sidelined, there are Nicholas Opoku and Daniel Amartey with Majeed Ashimeru returning after his injury.

Meanwhile, Fatawu Issahaku and Medeama’s Abdulai Nurudeen earned late call-ups to replace Kamaldeen Sulemana and Abdul Mumin respectively who later pulled out due to fitness issues.


(4-2-3-1): Ati Zigi; Seidu, Amartey, Opoku, Mensah; Samed, Ashimeru; Nuamah, Paintsil, Kudus; J. Ayew


(4-4-2): Adrien; Rabemananjara, Ramanjary, Razafindraibeharimihanta, Fortun; Lalaina, Ilaimaharitra, Tokinantenaina, Raveloson; Randrianantenaina, Lapoussin

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