The race to the top of the Ghana Premier League (GPL) will be keenly contested today at two centres where the top four clubs would engage each other in fierce clashes as the competition reaches match day 25.
At Wa, All Stars will engage third placed Accra Hearts of Oak in a game that will see what is left of the Phobian desire to continue with their good away form despite the Sogakope crash.
And at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium where Aduana Stars attempts to halt Kumasi Asante Kotoko’s revival, it will also test the new form of the Porcupine Warriors that has seen them record maximum points in their last two games.
But as the four gun for the top position, the focus would be greater on the traditional giants whose rivalry seem to have heightened tension in the league, having both played second fiddle to the latter day clubs for a while.
Under Kenichi Yatsuhatsi, Hearts displayed championship credentials and recorded massive attendance at their matches.
At the same time, Kotoko struggled under David Duncan and left many wondering whether they can end with the top four brackets.
Interestingly, the exit of Kenichi and Duncan changed the fortunes of the two with Hearts experiencing a decline while Coach Michael Osei injected some urgency into Kotoko’s play.
Wa All Stars however conquered every opposition on sight including Hearts in Accra. That defeat left the Phobian ego battered and opened the doors for other upsets.
Currently, All Stars and WAFA remain the only sides in the competition with proud unbeaten home runs to protect going into the day’s round of matches.
Despite the Sogakope defeat, Hearts are still expected to put up an impressive challenge not only to break the home invincibility of their hosts but avenge that painful defeat in Accra.
That will require a change in attitude of their playing staff.
Hearts have been very appalling these days and that clearly explains why a seven-point gap has been narrowed by the Porcupine Warriors who are also hoping to hang Aduana in their quest to get to the top.
Sergio Traguil’s attempt to change the set up against Techiman City made him a public enemy as replacements like Sabahn Laryea, Paul Acquah and Ashittey Ollenu failed to live up to expectation against Techiman City.
Against the Wa Blues, Traguil will be forced to fall back on Owusu Bempah, Samudeen Ibrahim, Isaac Mensah and Patrick Razak to present a formidable side capable of holding their own against the league leaders who have also indicated their readiness to record a double over the Phobians.
At 39 points, Kotoko would want to snatch the three points and hope for favourable results in the Hearts-All Stars game to jump to the top.
Coming at the back of wins over Dreams FC and Liberty Professionals, Kotoko knows too well what they have been through in the past few weeks when they failed to grind the results.
With those two wins, they would be guaranteed an encouraging attendance which is expected to provide the fillip to deal with the Aduana challenge.
Sadly for the Porcupine Warriors, Yahaya Mohammed has been scoring for the Dormaa based club. Nathaniel Asamoah would also be a headache.
Both sides have featured as leads marksmen for the Reds before and are fully aware which knobs to press to trouble the Reds.
At the back, Godfred Saka will provide a solid defensive cover for Stephen Adams and find ways of stopping the menacing runs of Dauda Mohammed and Obed Owusu.
At Techiman, Techiman City will come face to face with struggling New Edubiase who are hoping to avoid the drop while Inter Allies welcomes high-flying Ebusua Dwarfs to the Tema Stadium.
Sekondi Hasaacas will be the guests of Berekum Chelsea at the Berekum Park as Ashgold hosts Liberty at the Len Clay Stadium.
WAFA are clear favourites against Dreams at Sogakope with Bechem United hosting Medeama at Bechem.