Guinea coach Michel Dussuyer says the teams contesting Group D at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations are fighting for second place behind Ghana.
The 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists are the top seeds in a group also containing Mali and debutants Botswana.
"It's a tough group because Ghana is a strong team. They showed their quality at the World Cup," said the Frenchman.
"I expect Ghana to finish first and we are fighting with Mali and Botswana for second place."
"Botswana performed very well during qualifying and were the first qualifiers for the tournament so I have great respect for them.
"And Mali has great players so it will be difficult," the Frenchman told BBC Sport.
"But Ghana are a great team, with good players, and they are very well organised - we know they are favourites for the competition."
Nonetheless, Dussuyer's Guinea have already upset the odds in this tournament already, having eliminated Nigeria's Super Eagles during the qualifying phase.
The Black Stars reached the final of the 2010 Nations Cup and are considered one of the favourites in 2012 due to the absences of big names like Cameroon, Nigeria and reigning champions Egypt.
So Botswana's Zebras, who will be making their Nations Cup bow in January, have been handed a challenging task if they are to make the quarter-finals.
Furthermore, their tournament debut begins with a baptism of fire as they take on Ghana's four-time African champions in their opening game on 24 January in Franceville.
"We are in a tough group but all the groups are tough," coach Stanley Tshosane told BBC Sport.
"So all we have to do is make sure we get ready for the games."