A poor return of one point then will fix minds on battling for a place in the last 16 here.
Memories of 2010 in South Africa will also fuel motivation, particularly a third game against Uruguay in a repeat of the quarter-final loss on penalties to La Celeste.
Luis Suarez was the villain that day, with his red card for handling on the line denying a goal for Dominic Adiyiah in extra-time.
An away goal from Arsenal’s Thomas Partey in Abuja was enough to edge past Nigeria on away goals to qualify, and the Arsenal man will be pivotal to the Black Stars’ hopes of qualifying from a wide-open group.
Here is everything you need to know:
Group fixtures (all times GMT)
Thursday 24 November: Portugal vs Ghana – 16:00
Monday 28 November: South Korea vs Ghana – 13:00
Friday 2 December: Ghana vs Uruguay – 15:00
Goalkeepers: Abdul Manaf Nurudeen (Eupen), Ibrahim Danlad (Berekum Chelsea), Lawrence Ati-Zigi (St. Gallen)
Defenders: Denis Odoi (Club Brugge), Tariq Lamptey (Brighton), Joseph Aidoo (Celta Vigo), Gideon Mensah (Bordeaux), Daniel Amartey (Leicester), Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg), Abdul-Rahman Baba (Reading), Mohammed Salisu (Southampton), Alidu Seidu (Clermont)
Midfielders: Thomas Partey (Arsenal), Daniel Kofi-Kyereh (St Pauli), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax), Andre Ayew (Al Saad), Salis Abdul Samed (Lens), Elisha Owusu (Gent)
Forwards: Daniel Barnieh Afriyie (Accra Hearts of Oak), Kamal Sowah (Brugge), Abdul Fatawu Issahaku (Sporting CP), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace), Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Osman Bukari (Red Star Belgrade), Antoine Semenyo (Bristol City)
Ones to watch
Star – Mohammed Salisu: The Southampton star has now integrated into the national team and if Ghana get out of the group it feels like the centre-back will have to play to his potential in a group with a number of tough match-ups against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Darwin Nunez (or Luis Suarez) and Son Heung-min. Powerful and commanding from the back, the 23-year-old will want to carry more than a year of fine form in the Premier League to Qatar.
Breakout talent – Mohammed Kudus: The 22-year-old has broken out as a star after Ajax’s latest rebuild and appears to be over a terrible run of injuries. Able to operate as a striker or attacking midfielder, Kudus possesses an impressive left foot and excellent balance to quickly move away from opponents when fed the ball, it should be a lot of fun to watch this skillful player on the biggest stage with Ghana.
Odds to win the World Cup (taken from Betfair)
There’s a scenario where the Black Stars get out of this group as all of these games should be close. But we also envisage the potential to repeat their return from eight years ago of just one point. Likely to finish bottom but should be alive in every game and may lean on some good fortune to squeeze through. Knocked out in the group stage.