England may have won four of their last six matches but analysis of their form in recent friendly matches suggests Ghana should not be discounted when the two sides meet at Wembley tomorrow (March 29th).
Although Fabio Capello’s men have triumphed in five of their last seven friendly internationals, not one of the victories has been earned against a side which progressed to the quarter-final stage of last year’s World Cup in South Africa.
This suggests Ghana have a chance of victory at the attractive price of 15/4, with a successful £10 bet at bwin on an away win offering returns of £47.50.
Tellingly, England’s only friendly against one of the 2010 tournament’s form teams resulted in defeat, with Brazil easing to a 1-0 success in Qatar, while the Three Lions were outplayed when France came to Wembley last November.
This lack of success against higher quality opposition points to another nervy night at Wembley, with Ghana ranked as the 16th-best team in the world by Fifa.
The Black Stars fell agonisingly short of a place in the World Cup semi-finals last summer, with Asamoah Gyan missing a penalty seconds before the end of extra time in their quarter-final with Uruguay.
Ghana went on to lose the resulting penalty shootout, although their pacey and energetic performances had already captured the imaginations of many.
Given this, Capello’s decision to send many of his squad’s established stars home early looks to be a risky strategy.
Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Michael Dawson and Frank Lampard have all been released, leaving England light in defence and short of creativity in attack.
Meanwhile, Ghana are firing on all cylinders after a 3-0 win over Congo in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Sunday.
Both Gyan and Sunderland teammate Sulley Muntari are full of confidence, making a 2-1 away win a good bet at 14/1.
Should England score, they are likely to do so in the second half, having hit the back of the net after half-time in eight of their last nine friendlies.
With this in mind, a Ghana half-time win at 17/4 could also pay dividends.
A £10 stake on Ghana to beat England 2-1 would return £150. New customers can register here to receive a £25 free bet.