Former Black Stars defender John Paintsil has made Ghana aware of the capabilities of Mali in the upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

Ghana were pitted against the Malians alongside Madagascar, Comoros, Chad and Central African Republic in the draw for African qualifiers which was held a few weeks ago.

While the draw appears favourable to Ghana due to the fact that none of their opponents have ever played at the World Cup, the Black Stars have been cautioned to prepare adequately to avoid any embarassment from such minows.

Among the countries that could pose as a threat to Ghana is Mali according to Paintsil who admits how tough it could be to face Eagles.

According to him, Mali were one of the toughest side he faced in a Black Stars jersey.

“Mali is a difficult side; they are one of the football countries I was never comfortable playing against during my career,” he told Graphic Sports.

He however expressed optimism in the Black Stars indicating that they could leverage experience to walkover the Malians.

“Our boys are experienced enough; so, if Mali is going to use young players, then I think it will benefit us because in football, without experience you can’t make it. You need both young and experienced players to have a strong team,” he added.

Paintsil played in two World Cups for Ghana in 2006 and 2010.