Old rivalry will be reignited on Sunday. Accra Hearts of Oak will welcome Asante Kotoko to the Accra Sports Stadium for the “SUPER CLASH”. This fixture will be the first league meeting between the two sides this season. The Phobians will come into the game hoping they can avenge the semi-final defeat in the Normalization Special competition and also the President cup defeat. The Porcupine warriors will also hope they can inflict more misery on the Phobians.
Let’s have an in-depth look on both sides:
LAST TIME OUT
Hearts of Oak
After losing their first 2 games, the Phobians have bounced back and have picked 7 points in their last 3 games.
The last time they played in the league, they won by 2 goals to 1. The Phobians were behind after a minute of kickoff, they bounced back wondrously to secure all 3 points. Bernard Arthur came from the bench to score and make it 1-1 in the 85th minute, before Kofi Kordzi scored minutes later to make it 2-1, a clear manifestation of the club’s motto “Never say die”.
Form guide (Last 5 games): Hearts 0-1 Berekum Chelsea l Medeama 3-0 Hearts l Hearts 2-1 Dwarfs l WAFA 0-0 Hearts l Liberty 1-2 Hearts
After a torrid time in mid-January, a time that saw that club banned for 5 home league games and lost two games on the spin. The Porcupine warriors bounced back to winning ways the last time out, they beat strugglers Ebusua Dwarfs by 2-0. Youngster Mathew Cudjoe came from the bench to open the scoring in the 82nd minute. Richard Arthur sealed the game in the 87th minute to make it 2-0 to Asante Kotoko.
Form guide (Last 5 games): Kotoko 1-0 Eleven Wonders l Legon Cities 1-3 Kotoko l Kotoko 0-1 Berekum Chelsea l Medeama 1-0 Kotoko l Kotoko 2-0 Dwarfs
WHAT THE MANAGERS HAD TO SAY
Edward Nii Odom
“We have had some good training sessions since our last game with Liberty Professionals and, the confidence level among the boys is high with the hunger to deliver unimaginably”, Coach Odoom told the club’s communication department.
“The boys are determined to win this game on Sunday and, I believe the performance will be a massive improvement on what we have produced in our last two games against WAFA and Liberty Professionals.
‘’We cannot be overawed by the occasion and we must make the most of our home advantage with the support of our fans as we go for the win”, he added.
“Kotoko is always ready for the Hearts of Oak encounter and I believe that they are also ready for us,” Konadu said.
“We all know these matches are of a high-profile nature and no team is going to relax or take it easy.
“I know they are preparing very well and they have their eye on the match. We are also keeping an eye on what they are doing”
He also added, “It is going to be an interesting match in Accra. The match is on and we will see what happens on Sunday.”
HEAD TO HEAD
There have been a total of 106 league matches played between the two sides since 1958. Hearts of Oak have won 35 games. Kotoko have won 33 games, with the remaining 38 games ended in stalemate.
Hearts of Oak have played 55 games at home. They’ve won 16, Kotoko have won 16, with 23 ending a draw.
Last 5 league games at the Accra Sports Stadium: Hearts 1-0 Kotoko l Hearts 0-1 Kotoko l Hearts 1-2 Kotoko l Hearts 0-1 Kotoko l Hearts 1-1 Kotoko
Hearts of Oak
Accra Hearts will be without Kojo Obeng Jnr, The forward will miss the game due to injury. Star striker Joseph Esso is also a a doubt for this match. The striker picked up a knock in training and had to end training prematurely on Thursday. He will be accessed before the game. Every other player will be available for the Phobians. Hearts of Oak could hand striker Abednego Tetteh a debut, the center forward was seen training with the side on Friday. Manaf Umar is expected to be back the line up to replace the injured Obeng jnr
Expected line up
Earlier this week, Collins Ameyaw and Mudasiru Salifu returned to full training. Kotoko lost the duo in their game against Berekum Chelsea, both have been cleared fit to play against Hearts of Oak. Imoro Ibrahim will also be available after serving a one match ban.
Sogne Yacouba has reportedly been left out of Ihe 18 man squad that traveled to Accra yesterday. Felix Annan is expected to start this game after missing out on the previous one due to personal reasons. Collins Ameyaw, Mudasiru Salifu and Imoro Ibrahim are expected to be back straight into the starting 11.
Expected line up
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Hearts of Oak – Emmanuel Netty : The combative and industrious midfielder joined Accra Hearts of Oak just last week and has instantly become an integral member of the squad. He played his first game against WAFA and helped the club secure their first away point and first clean sheet on the season, He was again Fantastic in Dansoman, winning the man of the match award and the hearts of the Phobia fans. He was rewarded money by the fans in the game against Liberty Professionals.
Asante Kotoko – Justice Blay : The midfielder since signing for Asante Kotoko has been an integral member of the squad, he so far featured in all league games this season. He scored the club’s first goal of the season in a 1-0 win against Eleven Wonders. His nearly “perfect” performances has seen him win 2 man of the match awards.