Brazil World Cup 2014: Ghana squad: John Mensah out, Michael Essien in

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The Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has been selected in Ghana’s 26-man squad for the World Cup finals. The squad will be cut to 23 at the start of June.

Asamoah Gyan, the former Sunderland striker, and Sulley Muntari, the former Portsmouth midfielder, are also set to appear in their third consecutive World Cup finals.

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Richard Kingson, Isaac Vorsah and the former captain John Mensah – for whom there had been calls for a recall despite not having played for the national side for two years – all miss out.

Ghana’s slim hopes of progressing from a difficult group that includes Germany, Portugal and the USA are likely to hinge on the trio of Essien, Gyan and Muntari, as well as Marseille’s André Ayew. They will however make a small piece of history as Kwesi Appiah will become the first Ghanaian coach to lead his country at a World Cup.

Goalkeepers: Adam Kwarasey, Fatau Dauda, Stephen Adams

Defenders: Samuel Inkoom, Daniel Opare, Harrison Afful, Jeffrey Schullp, John Boye, Jonathan Mensah, Jerry Akaminko, Rashid Sumaila

Midfielders: Michael Essien, Rabiu Mohammed, Agyemang Badu, Kwadwo Asamoah, Sulley Muntari, Albert Adomah, Wakasu Mubarak, Christian Atsu, David Accam, André Ayew, Afriyie Acquah

Strikers: Asamoah Gyan, Kevin Prince Boateng, Abdul Majeed Waris, Jordan Ayew

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