Zambia vs Ghana Preview - Africa Cup of Nations

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Asamoah GyanZambia vs Ghana is the first semi final of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and sees Ghana (37/20 to win the AFCON), one of the pretournament favourites, face rank outsiders Zambia for a place in Sunday's final. Ghana are understandably the heavy favourites with their side filled with top level players but Zambia have torn up the hymn sheet at this year's competition and won't roll over as they bid for cup glory.

Zambia (7/2 to beat Ghana) are in their first Africa Cup of Nations semi final since 1994 and only the third in their history. They were 50/1 to win the tournament before the finals got underway but their squad of unknowns have shocked everybody by getting this far. Zambia, known as the Chipolopolo, were unbeaten in their group which included pre-tournament favourites Senegal and cruised through their quarter final with a 3-0 win over Sudan.

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They boast only one player from Europe's top leagues, Emmanuel Mayuka who plies his trade with BSC Young Boys in Switzerland, but coach Herve Renard is adamant that his side will compete with the elite players in the Ghanaian ranks.

"Everybody expected an Ivory Coast-Ghana final and everybody thinks it will be a surprise if we get through - everybody except us. When you play at the semis, you target is to reach the final, and we are going to do that,"

Ghana (20/23 to beat Zambia) have possibly the most recognisable team at this years finals. Their squad includes the talented Ayew brothers, Jordan and André, who have regularly appeared in the Champions League for Marseille as well as former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan and their captain John Mensah is a first-choice player for Lyon. They have a host of other players who earn a living in the Bundesliga, Serie A and Europe's other elite leagues.

Ghana came agonisingly close to becoming the first African side to reach a World Cup semi-final in 2010. A cynical hand-ball by Luis Suarez cost them as they went out on penalties to Uruguay. Winning their first AFCON for 30 years would go someway to healing that wound.

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Team News

Both sides have a full contingent of players available for the semi-final and both will field their strongest possible starting XI. Expect largely unchanged sides from the ones that came through their respective quarter finals.

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