Aduana hopes to maintain lead …As Kotoko, Medeama step up chase

Eric Donkor -Kotoko

Eric Donkor -Kotoko

Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Medeama SC will step up the chase on leaders Aduana Stars SC in the Ghana Premier League (GPL) when they welcome their respective opponents in the third week round of matches today.

Kotoko will engage Bechem United at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium while Medeama hosts Tema based Inter Allies at the T&A Park.

The two – Kotoko and Medeama – trail leader Aduana who hopes to either maintain or stretch their lead by beating debutants, Bolga Stars this afternoon.

The Dormaa side is unbeaten in their two games, registering wins over Ashantigold SC and Elmina Sharks and is favourites again against Bolga Stars who like many other clubs yet to taste their first point.

Once again, their home invincibility is coming to play after putting up an enterprising display against the Miners. With a usual poor away form, the Dormaa Park has served as a safe haven for them and a waterloo for many visiting teams.

And judging from the way the team is playing, it may be too slippery for the Bolga warriors who also have expressed hunger and thirst for the points, knowing the importance in starting a season on a good note.

They are huge underdogs considering Aduana’s strength at home but underrating them could be suicidal because they are going to Domaa with all guns blazing and ready for the kill.

With the hope that Bolga Stars at least split the points, Kumasi Asante Kotoko would go all out to snatch all three points available in their game against CAF Confederation Cup failures, Bechem United.

But the Porcupine Warriors knows too well the game will not come easy following the soaring confidence of the visitors following the number of success stories they wrote in Kumasi in their previous visits to the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.

Bechem on their last visit to Kumasi secured a vital point in their league game to brighten their chances of survival in the league. And as if that was not enough, they edged out the Porcupine Warriors from the FA Cup competition in penalty shoot-outs.

It is, therefore, understandable why the Porcupine Warriors would go all out against the FA Cup winners with new coach, Zdravco Lugarusic ready to unleash the likes of Mohammed Yakubu, Emmanuel Gyamfi, Eric Donkor, Ashittey Ollenu and many of their arsenals to stop the Bechem lads.

The visitors would miss their previous hitmen, Abednego Tetteh who joined the exodus bandwagon after the season and Hans Kwoffie, but Ahmed Toure, a former striker of Kotoko should know his way about how to unsettle the Porcupine Warriors.

In the same way as Kotoko would hope to amass the points at stake in their game, Medeama would hope to walk on the same path despite having in mind what Inter Allies brings to the table.

Medeama put up a spirited display on Sunday but were unfortunate to win against Accra Hearts of Oak.

A repeat of that show could pose problems for Allies who also incidentally held Hearts to a similar result on opening day.

It was clear that the exit of Malik Akowuah has not affected their psyche in any way with Kwesi Donsu stepping into his shoes, perfectly engineering the moves from midfield.

At home, they would seek to break the stubborn Allies side that has also downed some brilliant displays despite lurking at the lower ranks of the table with just a point.

The Cape Coast Sports Stadium will also be full of fireworks when Dwarfs hosts Accra Hearts of Oak.

The Phobians have been tipped to compete for top positions this season with the number of high profile signings including a Euro Pro Licensed coach, Nuttall Elliot but they are yet to exert themselves.

Ben Mensah has been excellent in post for Hearts. Dotse Agbatsi has also been impressive but yet to find the back of the net. Defenders Anthony Nimo, Malik Akowuah and Daniel Kordah are doing their best but as a team, they are yet to click.

Against a determined Dwarfs side that demonstrated their potency upfront against Bolga All Stars, Hearts would require a display that should see the defense very composed and the attackers very sharp.

Dwarfs are very strong at home and would not let an opportunity to make the headlines slip and would not leave any stone unturned to defeat the Rainbow boys.

After failing to make any impact on their debut in continental club championship, Wa All Stars will begin their campaign with a home clash against WAFA at Wa, while Tema Youth is set to face Ashgold in an interesting game at the Tema Stadium.

Accra fans would see Accra Great Olympics in action for the first time when they line up against debutants Elmina Sharks at the Accra Sports Stadium.

The original local ‘Blues’ have had a complicated start to their season, losing to Ashgold and having their opener postponed and would hope to make their return to the elite side felt by their followers.

Despite losing to the Miners, they gave a good account of themselves but were unlucky to end on the losing side.

Having identified the lapses, Coach Godwin Attram must correct them and put up a spirited display against the Sharks who are bent on competing with the big wigs.

Berekum Chelsea will remain at the Golden City Park where they play Liberty Professionals.

By Andrew Nortey

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