After a long gap since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, international competition returns this Saturday with the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying as Ghana start the race to the finals in Morocco.
It is set to be an intriguing encounter for the Black Stars due to their early exit from the World Cup as they desperately aim to get off to a winning start and perhaps regain the confidence of their fans.
Ghana will be kicking off a tough qualifying opener against Uganda at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi at 16:00GMT [4:00pm local time].
Kwesi Appiah’s side enter the Group E opener on the back of two defeats and one draw from their World Cup campaign.
However, that statistic is not lowering the expectation for his Black Stars team, rather it has raised the pressure.
“Automatically, there's pressure not because of the up-coming match but due to the distractions created by our disappointing World Cup campaign,” Appiah said this week.
It will be a tough task in getting past the Ugandans, but Appiah’s team appear to be quietly confident.
“We have to start well. We want to win and that is our focus. However, we are expecting a tough game.
“Expectations will be high but we must deal with it and deliver a good performance,” he said.
Amid the expectancy amongst fans, Uganda come in with no pressure but with their own targets as they bid to return to the Cup of Nations final for the first time since 1978.
“Ghana’s Black Stars are the team to beat in our group. However, having come this far, my players are fired up for an African Cup of Nations participation after almost 30 years of missing out,” said Milutin Sredojevic, coach of the Cranes.
“Ghana should not think that it is going to be easy for them in our group. My men are fired up and are willing to die to make their nation proud.”