Injury-ravaged Ghana must beat Burkina Faso

LUANDA - Ghana will be without their key players when they take on Burkina Faso in a must-win Group B final game at the African Nations Cup on Tuesday.

The Black Stars, semi-finalists in 2008, will have to make do with the absence of Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien after he was ruled out for the rest of the tournament on Monday with a knee injury.

Midfielder Rahim Ayew is a major doubt after picking a knee injury in training on Monday, while defender John Mensah and midfielders John Paintsil and Stephen Appiah missed the trip to Angola because of injuries.

Coach Milovan Rajevac is set to field a team whose backbone will be formed by players who won the under-20 World Cup in Egypt last October.

If Ghana win, they will finish second in Group B behind Ivory Coast, who have already qualified, and will play their quarter-final game in Luanda against hosts Angola on Sunday.

If they fail to take all three points, Burkina Faso, who held Ivory Coast 0-0 in their opener, will go through and will take either first or second place of the group depending on their goal difference.

The first-placed team in Group B will play their quarter-final in the northern enclave of Cabinda on Sunday against Algeria.