Ghana Premier League 2019/2020 season preview: Club by club guide plus predicted league finish

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The 2019-20 Ghana Premier League season is almost here and it is time to run the rule over all 18 teams ahead of the new campaign. Assessment will be done fairly in alphabetical order.

Remember: I don’t love or hate your team, everything is strictly my personal opinion.

ACCRA GREAT OLYMPICS

Having been away from elite football for a while, Accra Great Olympics gets the chance of playing in the Premier league again, this comes in after winning a legal tussle against the FA. The club since then has had a complete overall, management has brought in experienced players. The likes of Bernard Don Bortey, Michael Akuffo, Godfred Saka, Jordan Opoku, Gladson Awako, Emmanuel Clottey, Stephen Adams etc. have come in as the club seek to make a top 4 finish. All isn’t well, there have been issues surrounding the club as Coach Issac Nii Armah resigned on Monday. Prince George Koffie was immediately announced as new manager. With the experienced players in the team, Olympics will at least be expected to avoid the drop.

Predicted league finish: 13th

The Great Olympics side ready to cause upset.

ACCRA HEARTS OF OAK

The last time Accra Hearts of Oak won the league or won a major trophy was in 2009. The Phobians will be looking forward to end the 10years trophy drought when the league finishes later next year, but that won’t come on a silver platter as they’ll have to tussle with the likes of Asante Kotoko, Ashanti Gold, Aduana Stars etc. for the title. The Phobians have a very talented young side, the likes of Mo Alhassan, Manaf Umar, Mitchelle Sarpong, William Dankyi etc. a young side that did marvelously well in the Normalization Special Competition. Brushing opponents aside including the 4-0 trashing of WAFA in Accra. The young Phobia side went straight to the finals only to lose to bitter rivals Kumasi Asante Kotoko on penalties. The club has also made some good acquisitions, with the likes of Dominic Eshun, Richard Attah and Benjamin Arthur coming in. The future of star striker Joseph Esso and club captain Fatawu Mohammed still remains uncertain. There are rumors that Joseph Esso could be heading to Sudan to play for Al Hilal before the transfer window closes in January, whiles club captain Fatawu Mohammed is yet to commit his future to the club. There have also been question marks on the future of head coach Kim Grant, earlier this week he was asked by management to step aside for assistant coach Edward Nii Odoom to take charge of the team for the time being. With all the problems sorrounding the club, the Phobians still have enough weapons in their Arsenal to fight for the league title.

Predicted league finish: 3rd

Can Hearts of Oak end their 10 years trophy drought?

ADUANA STARS

Aduana Stars who are the current holders of the Ghana Premier League will hope to replicate their heroics in 2017, but they’ll have to do it this time without key man Sam Adams who joined Kumasi Asante Kotoko just recently. Aduana stars endured a more difficult 2018 season, with the club trying to balance playing in the league and in Africa. The league holders have boosted their playing body with five new arrivals led by erstwhile Ebusua Dwarfs forward Nicholas Gyan. The list includes Alfred Opoku, Isaac Kwain, Bejanmin Owusu and Flavio Koussi Kongoza. Aduana Stars could also land former Hearts of Oak and Kotoko winger Ollenu Ashitey who has been without a club since leaving kotoko. On administrative aspect, former GFA President George Afriyie is the club’s new CEO. Will the Ogya boys be able to retain their title?

Predicted league finish: 4th

Can the Ogya boys regain the league title?

ASANTE KOTOKO

Having last won the league trophy in 2014, Kumasi Asante Kotoko will come into the new season hoping they can end their league drought. The Porcupine warriors will start the new league season as winners of the Normalization Special competition and President cup. They will start the league season in high spirits and will take motivation in beating their arch-rivals Hearts of Oak just last weekend to win the President cup. The Porcupine warriors have had their own problems, only this year, they’ve changed managers on 3 different occasions, with the last casualty being Kjetil Zachariassen after an awful showdown in Africa. The future of club captain Felix Annan and Burkinabe striker Sogne Yacouba are uncertain, but as far as recruitment goes, the club has had a decent transfer window, with the likes of Sam Adams from Aduana, Ibrahim Moro, Patrick Yeboah, teenager Matthew “Messi” Cudjoe and Kwame Adom coming in. The club also has the likes of Emmanuel Gyamfi, Augustine Okrah, George Abege, Naby Keita etc. in it Arsenal. The Porcupine warriors will have too much fire power for the other 17 clubs to handle when the league kicks off.

Predicted league finish: 1st

Can Kotoko end their 5 years league drought?

ASHANTI GOLD

The Miners were winners of the Tier 2 competition. They displayed an impressive and nearly perfect performance when they met Kumasi Asante Kotoko in the semi-final. The Obuasi based side managed to qualify for the CAF Confederation cup but were knocked out by Berkane in the second round of qualifications. They’ll hope they can bring the scintillating form that saw them win the Tier 2 competition into the new league season. Ashanti Gold can boast of one of the best attacks in the Premier league with the likes of Shafui Mumuni, Emmanuel Osei Baffour, Amos Addai etc. at their disposal, but a lot needs to be done in defense. It was their dreadful defending that saw them concede 2 cheap goals at home against Algerian side AS Berkane in the CAF Confederations cup, which consequently led to their exit. The Miners have strengthen their side with the likes of Brazilian striker Marco Silva, Benjamin Eshun, David Abanga, Stephen Owusu, Musah Mohammed, Kwadwo Amoako etc. but can the Miners win the league for the 5th time?

Predicted league finish: 2nd

Can AshGold win their 5th league title?

BECHEM UNITED

The 2016 season will live longer in the minds of Bechem United fans. The Bechem club had a fairytale run to the Fa cup final and went on to win the trophy. Since then they’ve been at best a mid-table team. The 2016 Fa cup winners escaped relegation by just 4 points in the last full Premier league season and will hope they can do better this time round. CEO of the club Nana Kwesi Darlington recently revealed that it is the aim of the club to contend for the league trophy, but if that doesn’t happen, then the club would at least settle for a top 4 finish. Bechem United will have a cool run of fixtures to start their season with, they play Elmina Sharks, Inter Allies, Great Olympics, King Faisal and Eleven Wonders in their 5 Premier league games. Can Bechem United do better than they did in 2017?

Predicted league finish: 12th

Can Bechem United do better than they did in 2017?

BEREKUM CHELSEA

Berekum Chelsea had a terrible campaign in the Normalization Special Competition, they won just one of their 12 games. The Berekum side will have a hectic start to the new season, they play Accra Hearts of Oak, Asante Kotoko and Ashanti Gold away from home in their first 5 league games. The 2011 league winners have strengthened their defense with the addition of Kotoko and Black meteors keeper Ibrahim Danlad and also former Kotoko defender Ahmed Adams. They’ve also boosted their attack with the arrival of former Premier league golden boot winner Kofi Owusu. Club president Nana Kwame Nketiah recently stated that it is the club’s aim to win the 2019/2020 Premier league trophy, but it still remains a question whether this current crop of players will be able to do that.

Predicted league finish: 7th

Can the Berekum Chelsea side win the league?

DREAMS FC

Since the league ended abruptly, Dreams football club has been under massive rebuilding. The club has sold key men Leonard Owusu, Razak Cromwell, Zuberu Sharani, Samuel Pimpong and Samuel Allabi. The Dawu based side has struggled to replicate the sensational form that saw the club earn promotion to the elite league in 2017. Dreams finished the Normalisation Special competition with just 16 points in 14 games, but it’ll still be difficult to see the team dropped. Dreams have a solid academy team and will hope youngsters like Emmanuel Krampah, Kwame Otu, Sulemana Mohammed etc. will step in and fill the big boots of departed star men. Veterans like Eric Gawu and Isaac Amoako are still around, and will hope they can teach the youngsters a thing or two before they hang their boots.

Predicted league finish: 10th

The young Dreams side ready to cause upset

EBUSUA DWARFS

Ebusua Dwarfs has indeed been dwarfed in recent times. The Cape coast based side lost 9 out of the 14 games in the Normalization Special competition and hasn’t been able to improve on that since. Ebusua dwarfs continued it poor form in preseason, losing the most recent preseason game to Kumasi Asante Kotoko by 2 goals to nil. The club has faced problems both on and off the pitch. The club is still struggling to select a pitch for the 2019/2020 Premier league home games. Robert Mensah Sports Stadium, which was the previous pick was rejected by the FA, it was deemed not Premier league standard. Ebusua dwarfs recently parted ways with Bright Luqman Nurudeen, Obed Bentum, Paul Abakah Nkrumah and Osman Mohammed. The club has failed to replace all these players, hence it’ll be miraculous to see the Cape coast based side avoid relegation.

Predicted league finish: 18th

Can Dwarfs avoid the drop?

ELMINA SHARKS

The Elimina based side has had relatively a quiet transfer window, selling goalkeeper Richard Attah to Accra Hearts of Oak and signing only James Bissue, formerly of Hearts of Oak to strengthen the midfield. The club has had some few problems recently, with their academy team dissolved by management due to an alleged match fixing scandal. The Elimina team is hard to predict, on a good day Sharks can beat any side in the league. The Elmina based side has most of it players from the previous seasons still around, with Benjamin Tweneboah “Neymar” and local Black Stars forward Felix Addo inclusive. The duo will be handful for most clubs. Elmina Sharks is at least expected to finish in mid-table.

Predicted league finish: 9th

The Elmina boys ready for the new season.

INTER ALLIES

Inter Allies has had a hurdle to surmount in recent times, the club was bottom of the 2018 Premier league table before it ended abruptly and hasn’t been able to improve it form as the club finished bottom of Group B in the Normalization Special competition, winning only 2 of the 14 games, losing 9 and drawing the other 3. It again hasn’t been a different story in preseason as well, Inter Allies drew 0-0 against Olympics, lost 1-0 to Wa All Stars and 3-0 to WAFA. The Accra based side will hope things will turn around when the new league season kicks off. The club has acquired the services of shot stopper George Apronti, Ben Yaro and full backs Evans Osei and Richard Acquah. Inter Allies will adopt the Accra Sports stadium as home ground for the new season, a ground the club will take time to adapt to.

Predicted league finish: 14th

Inter Allies will hope to avoid the drop.

KARELA UNITED FC

After a superb start to the 2018 league season, Karela United continued it fine form in the Normalization Special competition. Going all the way to the final only to lose on penalties to the Porcupine warriors, such an incredible feat, but since then the club has lost integral members of that squad. Losing Isaac Kwain to Aduana Stars, Solomon Sarfo Taylor to Danish side Vendsyssel, Dominic Eshun to Hearts of Oak, Empem Dacosta and Patrick Yeboah to Kumasi Asante Kotoko. Although star men Emmanuel Keyekeh and Diawisie Taylor are still around, it’ll be difficult to see the club replicate it fine form in the Normalization Special competition. Karela is also strong at home, winning more than 90% of it games at the Cosby Awuah Memorial Park, which is one of the reasons for the fast rise, but the club has to dump the Cosby Awuah Memorial and adopt the Akoon Community Park in Tarkwa for home league games. The Cosby Awuah Memorial Park is deemed not Premier League standard by the FA. It’ll be difficult to see Karela replicate it fine form in the Normalization Special competition, but the club is at least expected to avoid the drop.

Predicted league finish: 11th

Karela hoping to finish in the top half of the league.

KING FAISAL FC

After years of been away from the elite league, Alhaji Grusah’s side King Faisal is back to the Premier league after winning a legal tussle against the FA. It’ll be interesting to see what the club brings to the table of men. Earlier this week, the Kumasi based side confirmed the signature of midfielder Michael Akuffo. The club has already secured Ibrahim Osman on loan from city-rivals Asante Kotoko, former Asante Kotoko midfielder Stephen Nyarko is also set to join the Kumasi based club. Right after promotion, club owner Alhaji Karim Grusah indicated his incapability to cope with the financial burden of playing in the Premier league and has called on potential investors to come and save his club. Yes! King Faisal is back to the Premier league, but the club is here this time without the likes of Godwin Ablordey, Abubakar Yahuza , Kwadwo Poku and Eric Gawu. The crop of players that won the 2004 GHALCA Top Four Cup. Can Alhaji Grusah’s side stay in the league for another season?

Predicted league finish: 17th

Alhaji Grusah’s side warming up for a friendly game.

LIBERTY PROFESSIONALS

Liberty Professionals has been one of the regular clubs in the Ghana Premier league since it inception. The club as at least finished mid-table in previous seasons. The Dansoman based side is known for producing young and talented players, the likes of Sulley Muntari, Michael Essien, Asamoah Gyan etc. have all been through the ranks of the club, and it won’t be any different this term. Liberty professionals come into the new league season with the likes of the gifted Striker Elvis Kyei-Baffour, Michael Sefa etc. having lost maestro Leonard Amesimeku and Captain Samuel Zibo, the Scientific soccer lads still believe they have enough weapons in their armory to cause havoc. The club has promoted the likes of Abraham Wayo and Francis Tanko from their junior ranks to fill the big void left. The club also acquired the services of former Right to Dream winger Emmanuel Issaka.

Predicted league finish: 8th

The young Liberty side.

MEDEAMA SC

Medeama was on course to winning the league before it was stopped unexpectedly. Medeama was on top of the league with 27 points after 14 games. The Tarkwa based side is a free scoring side and has made Tarkwa Park a fortress, the club won all 7 games at the venue in the 2018 season. Medeama has a hectic fixture schedule for the start of the season, the club welcome Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko in the first two home games. The Tarkwa based side sold defensive midfielder Justice Blay to Asante Kotoko and also brought in the likes Ibrahim Yaro, Prince Opoku Agyemang, Eric Kwakwa, Michael Yeboah, Benjamin Mensah etc. to strengthen the side. With the likes of Rashid Nortey and skipper Tetteh Zutah, Ali Ouattara and Eric Ofori Antwi still around, the Tarkwa side is expected to cause havoc. Medeama will this season adopt Akoon Park as home ground.

Predicted league finish: 5th

Medeama will hope to challenge for the title.

TECHIMAN ELEVEN WONDERS

Techiman Eleven wonders were flying high and were 11th on the Ghana Premier League table before the league got abandoned after the first round. Eleven wonders were superb at home in the 2018 league season, and will hope they can continue similar form when the season begins. The Techiman side has a good recruitment policy, signing players on a cheap from Division 1 and Division 2 clubs. Before the start of the Normalization Special competition, the club signed 10 players from Division 1 and Division 2 clubs, the list of players include the likes of Sumaila Moro and Tanko Gausu from Young Gold Fields, Adam Musah from Young Apostle, Ganiu Abass from Sparters FC, Francis Addo from Berekum Arsenal etc. Techiman Eleven Wonders recently parted ways with veteran manager Frimpong Manson and quickly replaced him with Ignatius Osei-Fosu. Eleven wonders are at least expected to avoid the drop.

Predicted league finish: 15th

Can Eleven Wonders avoid the drop?

WA ALL STARS

Talking of upheaval, what a past year and half it has been for Wa All Stars. Erstwhile club owner Kwesi Nyantakyi was handed a life time ban by FIFA after he was caught taking bribe in Anas’s Number 12. The club now has new owners, with former Black Stars and Fulham defender John Paintsil part of the club shareholders. Before the league ended abruptly, All Stars was in a bad shape and had won just 2 of the first 14 games and sitting at the bottom of the league table with just 10 points. The club redrew from the Normalization Special competition because of the controversy surrounding erstwhile club owner Kwesi Nyantakyi. The 2016 league winners will hope they can put all their problems behind them when the league season commence. As far as recruitment goes, the 2016 Premier league winners have had a relatively quiet offseason, with the most eye-catching signing being the arrival of former Black Stars goalkeeper Fatawu Mohammed, who will bring some experience into the side. Wa All Stars has also signed former Dreams FC skipper Abdul Bashiru. Earlier this week, the club announced the appointment of Slovakian Coach Goran Barjaktarevic, he replaces John Paintsil who’s now the club’s Scout. Wa All Stars has had the proposal of playing home games at the Madina Zongo Park rejected, the club will have to come up with a new home ground before the season starts this Sunday. Wa All Stars will play giants Asante Kotoko, AshGold and Aduana Stars at home in the first 3 home games of the season. On Friday, the name of the club was changed to Legon Cities FC.

Predicted league finish: 16th

Wa All Stars will hope to avoid the drop.

WAFA

West African Football Academy(WAFA), formerly known as Feyenoord will be playing in their 5th consecutive Premier league season. The Sogakope based side is known for grooming young talents and selling them abroad, with the likes of Majeed Ashimeru, Solomon Asante, Gideon Mensah, Samuel Tetteh coming through the ranks. Even with the habit of selling talents, the Sogakope side never looks like slowing down. The club finished second in the 2016-2017 Premier league season, just 6 points behind league winners Aduana Stars. The club’s incredible feat was due to it superb home form, the academy side won 12 of the 15 home games and drew the other 3. The academy side has made the WAFA Stadium a fortress and has recently battered solid teams at the ground, the 5-0 trashing of Hearts of Oak and Dreams FC comes to mind. WAFA will hope to replicate their solid performance in 2017, but they’ll have to improve their away form if they want to finish higher than they did in 2017. On Tuesday, the club appointed Prosper Nartey Ogum as new manager.

Predicted finish: 6th

 The Academy boys from Sogakope.

Goodluck to all 18 Premier league clubs..

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