Johannesburg - The release of a formidable provisional Ghanaian squad emphasises the enormity of the task Bafana Bafana will face in their "group of death" at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Equatorial Guinea next month.
Twenty of the 31 nominated players, named by newly installed Ghana coach Avram Grant, ply their footballing trade in Europe. Even without stars Sulley Muntari of AC Milan and Schalke's Kevin-Prince Boateng - out of favour after being sent home from this year's World Cup in Brazil for disciplinary reasons - the Black Stars will take some beating.
Algeria, another of the five African nations who qualified for this year's World Cup, along with strong-running Senegal make up Group C with Ghana and South Africa.
The top two sides will go forward to the quarter-finals.
Prominent in the Ghana line-up is striker Asamoah Gyan, who made a striking impression at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and is now playing for the big-spending United Arab Emirates club Al Ain.
Also included in the squad were Olympique Marseille midfielder Andre Ayew and Lorient FC striker Jordan Ayew, the French-based sons of Ghanaian legend Abedi Pele.
However, the experienced Grant, who has coached Chelsea among other teams in a long and varied career, has not chosen another renowned Ghanaian legend in former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, who now plays for AC Milan in Italy.
Interestingly, the Ghana squad includes three players presently based in South Africa, namely defenders Kwabenia Adusei and Gyimah Edwin from Black Aces and Maritzburg United's Awal Mohammad.
Along with Cameroon, the Ghanaians are placed second behind Egypt's seven as previous AFCON Cup winners with four titles, but they have not won Africa's most prestigious soccer event since 1982.