Germany vs Ghana Preview: Silvia Neid's side pursuing 125th victory on home soil ahead of Rio 2016

The Black Queens will be looking to hamper their hosts' Olympics preparations in Paderborn.

Germany vs Ghana Preview: Silvia Neid's side pursuing 125th victory on home soil ahead of Rio 2016
Germany prepare for their final send off ahead of the Olympics. (Photo: DFB)

With less than two weeks to go until the big kick-off in Rio, Germany will be looking to head out to Brazil full of confidence as they bid farewell to their fans in the form of a friendly with Ghana tomorrow evening.

There is plenty about the game that will be special, even before it's kicked off. To start, it will be the first meeting between the two nations as Ghana continue to enhance their reputation on the world stage. They have made great strides over the years and will hope to show this again in Paderborn.

Secondly, before the game gets underway, Germany will honour former midfielder Nadine Keßler on the pitch. Keßler was forced to retire earlier this year after her illustrious career was hampered by a succession of serious knee injuries; the 28-year-old hanging up her boots with a plethora of honours to her name.

With Germany, these included the 2013 European Championship title, as well as a win in this competition at youth level and a FIFA U17 Women's World Cup. At club level, Keßler won everything; the Frauen-Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and UEFA Women's Champions League, as well as the FIFA and UEFA Player of the Year awards.

Thirdly, after Keßler receives her final well-deserved moment in the sun, Germany will get the game underway in search of not only a win to send them off to Brazil full of confidence, but a win that will mark their 125th on home soil in 161 games.

Nadine Keßler won almost everything on offer to her as a footballer, before her career was cut unfortunately short by injury. (Photo: DFB)
Nadine Keßler won almost everything on offer to her as a footballer, before her career was cut unfortunately short by injury. (Photo: DFB)

Ghana; similar to Zimbabwe?

Speaking ahead of this game, Doris Fitschen, who played for Germany for 15 years before retirement, admitted that the DFB arranged this friendly with Ghana with Olympic group stage opponents Zimbabwe in mind.

"Ghana was our first-choice opponents because we desperately wanted to test ourselves against an African team to round up our preparation for the Olympics," Fitschen told the DFB's official website.

"Their style of play is very similar to our first opposition at the games, Zimbabwe," she added.

Women's football in Africa is growing and growing, especially after the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup saw Cameroon reach the knockout round and Nigeria reach the final of the under-20 edition the summer prior.

The likes of Gaëlle Enganamouit, Asisat Oshoala and Francisca Ordega have risen to prominence on the domestic scene as a result, and Ghana will hope that their nation and their talent is next.

However, they have plenty of German quality to worry about first.

A squad full to the brim with world-class footballers includes four players from reigning German champions, Bayern Munich, and five from last season's Champions League runners-up, VfL Wolfsburg

Josephine Henning has also been in and amongst the silverware this season, winning the FA Women's Cup with Arsenal earlier this summer. She is one of just two players in the squad based outside of Germany, with the other being Anja Mittag of Paris Saint-Germain.

Other notable inclusions are Saskia Bartusiak, Babett Peter and Simone Laudehr, who could all move one appearance closer to a century if they feature tomorrow. On 94, 96 and 97 caps respectively, they could all hit that magical 100 in Rio this summer.

(Photo: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Josephine Henning is just one of several in the German squad who have got their hands on silverware this calendar year, winning the FA Women's Cup with Arsenal. (Photo: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Germany squad in full

Goalkeepers: Almuth Schult (VfL Wolfsburg), Laura Benkarth (SC Freiburg).

Defenders: Josephine Henning (Arsenal), Saskia Bartusiak (1. FFC Frankfurt), Leonie Maier (Bayern Munich), Annike Krahn (Bayer Leverkusen), Tabea Kemme (Turbine Potsdam), Babett Peter (VfL Wolfsburg).

Midfielders: Melanie Behringer (Bayern Munich), Lena Goeßling (VfL Wolfsburg), Dzsenifer Marozsan (Olympique Lyonnais), Sara Däbritz (Bayern Munich), Melanie Leupolz (Bayern Munich), Isabel Kerschowski (VfL Wolfsburg).

Forwards: Simone Laudehr (Bayern Munich), Alexandra Popp (VfL Wolfsburg), Anja Mittag (Paris Saint-Germain), Mandy Islacker (1. FFC Frankfurt).

Reserves: Svenja Huth (Turbine Potsdam), Lina Magull (SC Freiburg), Kathrin Hendrich (1. FFC Frankfurt), Lisa Weiß (SGS Essen).

Black Queens on the rise

On a run of four wins in a row and 14 unbeaten, Ghana are full of confidence and they'll need to be as they come up against the side ranked second in the world - behind only the current world champions, the United States.

The Black Queens may be ranked 46th in the world, but they jumped up two places in the last rankings thanks to their current run of form.

Their last defeat came back in the group stages of the 2014 African Cup, with the nation back on the rise after a few disappointing years. 

Ghana reached at least the semi-finals of the African Cup for six tournaments running and qualified for three successive World Cups between 1995 and 2006. However, they failed to make it to the latter in both 2011 and 2015 and were knocked out of the African Cup at the group stages in 2008, 2010 and 2014 - as well as failing to qualify in 2012.

With another chance on the continent coming later this year, they will be after a confidence building result tomorrow - or at least a positive performance - as they prepare to prove themselves as one of the best in Africa this winter.

Manager Yusif Basigi is not only excited to test his side against one of the world's best either, but confident they can do some damage, telling the media pre-match: “Even though we are going into the game for exposure, a win for us is a plus.”

The Black Queens have some exciting talent amongst their ranks too, particularly going forward. Basigi will take seven fearless attackers to Paderborn tomorrow with an average age of 20 - Sandra Owusu-Ansah the youngest at 16-years-old, this her maiden call-up to the senior team.

They will be supported by the more experienced Faiza Ibrahim, the 26-year-old returning to the squad after a significant time away and looking to share her experience in a huge fixture for this nation.

Ghana will be looking to cause Germany more problems than many expect tomorrow. (Photo: DFB)
Ghana will be looking to cause Germany more problems than many expect tomorrow. (Photo: DFB)

Ghana squad to face Germany

Goalkeepers: Fafali Dumehasi (Police Ladies), Nana Ama Asantewaa (Police Ladies), Patricia Mantey (Immigration Ladies).

Defenders: Grace Asare (Prison Ladies), Rosemary Ampem (Immigration Ladies), Regina Antwi (Hasaacas Ladies), Rita Darko (Hasaacas Ladies), Rebecca Asante (Prison Ladies), Cynthia Adubea (Prison Ladies).

Midfielders: Hillia Kobblah (Hasaacas Ladies), Mary Essiful (Intellectuals), Priscilla Okyere (Fabulous Ladies), Priscilla Saahene (Fabulous Ladies), Belinda Anane (Fabulous Ladies), Alice Kusi (Fabulous Ladies), Rahama Alhassan (Northen Ladies).

Forwards: Faiza Ibrahim (Police Ladies), Alberta Asante (Police Ladies), Sandra Owusu-Ansah (Fabulous Ladies), Wasila De-Wura Soale (Hasaacas Ladies), Veronica Appiah (Hasaacas Ladies), Elizabeth Addo (Ferercvaros), Pricilla Adubea (Ampem Darkoa).