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2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Baba Rahman a major Ghana doubt for Nigeria duel

3:42 AM GMT+8 11/03/2022
Baba Rahman Ghana
The Black Stars could be without the Reading full-back for their big clash with the Super Eagles

Ghana defender Baba Rahman is unlikely to be available for their 2022 World Cup qualifying double-header against Nigeria later this month.

According to Reading boss Paul Ince, the injured left-back faces two to three more weeks on the sidelines, having last featured in a 3-2 win over Preston North End in the Championship last month.

With the Black Stars set to face the Super Eagles over two legs on March 25 and 29, the Chelsea man is racing against time to play a part in the final round of the World Cup qualifiers.

"You can't throw players like Scott Dann and Josh Laurent straight back in. They've been out for four or five weeks,” Ince said in team news ahead of Saturday’s league encounter with Nottingham Forest, BerkshireLive reports.

"I've got to think not just about the Forest game, but Bournemouth and Blackburn next week.

"Rahman is two or three weeks away.”

In 35 matches played by Reading so far in the Championship this season, Baba has featured in 24 of the games, making the starting XI each time.

The 27-year-old was a regular feature for Ghana at the recent Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon, where the team suffered group stage elimination.

Aside from the Reading man, Ghana are also sweating over the fitness of Stade Rennes sensation Kamaldeen Sulemana who is currently in the treatment room.

Captain Andre Ayew is already out of the upcoming games owing to suspension, having picked up a red card in the Black Stars’ final Afcon game against Comoros.

Striker Benjamin Tetteh is also out of contention for a place against the Super Eagles as he continues to serve a ban for violent conduct in Ghana’s second group game against Gabon at the continental showpiece.

At the moment, it is still unclear whether Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu will accept to avail himself for international duty, having turned down call-ups in the past.

The Black Stars are looking to make up amends for their disappointing Afcon showing with victory over their familiar rivals, who are looking to make it four straight qualifications to the World Cup.

Ghana missed out on the last gathering in Russia after successive appearances between 2006 and 2014.