Ghana v Senegal: Asante confident of fifth AFCON title

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Solomon Asante feels Ghana are not far away from ending their Africa Cup of Nations heartache ahead of their clash with Senegal.

Solomon Asante has urged Ghana to "do the basics right" as they start their campaign to end years of Africa Cup of Nations heartache versus Senegal on Monday

Ghana have won the AFCON on four occasions but have not tasted success in Africa's premier international tournament since beating Libya on penalties in the 1982 final.

Since that moment of glory Ghana, one of just three African nations to reach the last eight of a World Cup along with Senegal and Cameroon, have lost two finals and been beaten four times in the last four.

Their path to a potential final in 2015 looks to be a tricky one after Ghana were drawn in Group C alongside three of Africa's other traditional powers in Algeria, South Africa and Senegal.

But TP Mazembe winger Asante does not believe Ghana need to do much to take the next step from contenders to champions.

He told Ghanasoccernet.com: "Our team is one with both experience and technique. We have had disappointment in this competition for some time now, and we feel if we do the basic things right we can go all the way.

"The first step is thinking and focusing on our game against Senegal; that will shape our campaign here in Equatorial Guinea."

Ghana may be third favourites to lift the trophy in Equatorial Guinea, however, Senegal figure to provide a stern test of their credentials in the capital Mongomo.

And Alain Giresse's side, which possesses plenty of attacking prowess in the likes of Papiss Cisse, Mame Biram Diouf and Moussa Sow, could be boosted by the return to fitness of Southampton's Sadio Mane.

Giresse selected the forward despite him picking up a calf injury that was expected to keep Mane on the sidelines for several weeks.

However, reports have indicated that Mane has been training normally, although Giresse is eager to play it safe with an attacker who has excelled in the Premier League this campaign.

"The only question now is to know which match he will be able to play," Giresse is quoted as saying by Wiwsport. "Will it be the first, second or third?

"I say that if he will not be able to play the first match, it will be the second if not the third. Hopefully it will be the second. We'll see the progress he will make."

Regardless of whether Mane is able to play Senegal have the firepower to trouble a Ghana team that can ill-afford an early slip-up in their search to end a 33-year wait for a fifth AFCON crown.