Champions Hearts of Oak will lock horns with sworn rivals and leaders Asante Kotoko on Sunday afternoon in front of a fully-filled Ohene Gyan Stadium in the first Super-Clash of the ongoing 2021/22 Ghana Premier League.
The game initially was scheduled for week 7 but had to be outstanding due to the ‘Phobians participation in the CAF Inter-club competitions
The Rainbow Club will be heading into this crunchy clash with so much dedication of grinding the three points to close the gap between them and Kotoko to seven on the league log.
However, the Porcupine Warriors will be looking to further strengthen their grip on the first spot as they set sights on nothing but a win to widen the gap to 13 points and also extend their lead to 9 above second-placed Bechem United.
Hearts of Oak are winless in their last two matches, having lost to Great Olympics in the ‘Ga-Mantse’ derby and also got held by RTU last week in Tamale.
They are found 8th on the league table with 24 points after 16 matches and will look to strive maximum points today to make a top four finish.
On the other hand, Kotoko after the defeat against Elmina Sharks, returned to winning ways last Saturday after edging out newbies, Accra Lions by a resounding 3-1 triumph at the Baba Yara Stadium.
They continue to lead the table with 36 points, and will look to extend their lead by the close of today.
The return of 2010 UEFA Champions League winner, Sulley Muntari definitely has brought lots of attention to the epic game coming up and will surely derive a wide viewership worldwide.
The Porcupine Warriors however will also be relying on the power ammunition of Cameroonian poacher Frank Etouga Mbella who has netted two hatricks so far making him the league’s current top scorer with 11 goals.
Meanwhile, the Champions fire power definitely will be coming from stalwart striker Kofi Kordzi- who still remains their top scorer this season with 7 goals with his last league goal coming against Berekum Chelsea in December last year.
HEAD TO HEAD
The two teams have met each other on 107 occasions in terms of league games. Hearts of Oak have 36 wins, 36 has ended in a draw and 35 wins for Kotoko.
Boost for coach Samuel Boadu who will welcome back his centre-backs Mohammed Alhassan and Robert Addo Sowah all from injuries.
Caleb Amankwah is suspended for the game after picking a red card against RTU.
Ibrahim Salifu continue to remain sideline for this game due to an injury he suffered at Karela
On the opposition end, Mudasiru Salifu returned into the squad after missing their last game despite being fully fit.
However, coach Prosper Narteh Ogum will miss Brazilian import Fabio Gama, Emmanuel Keyekeh, Clinton Opoku, Andy Kumi Francis and newly-signed goalkeeper Abdul Rafiu Yakubu all due to injuries.
The good news is, Imoro Ibrahim is back after serving his suspension for the red card he also picked against Elmina Sharks in week 16.
Probable line ups
Hearts: Richard Attah, Fatawu Mohammed (C), Dennis Korsah, Mohammed Alhassan, Robert Addo Sowah, Abdul Aziz Nurudeen, Salim Adams, Gladson Awako, Enock Asubonteng, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh, Kofi Kordzi
Kotoko: Danlad Ibrahim, Augustine Agyapong, Imoro Ibrahim, Yusif Mubarik, Ganiyu Ismail (C), Justice Blay, Sheriff Mohammed, Richmond Lamptey, Dickson Afoakwa, George Mfegue, Frank Etouga Mbella
Referee: Rustum Gameli Senorgbe
Assistant I: Patrick Papala
Assistant II: Gilbert Adom Mensah
Fourth Official: Bashiru Dauda