Kumasi Asante Kotoko will face a stern test tomorrow as they welcome Tarkwa based Medeama SC, leaders of the northern sector Normalisation Committee (NC) special competition to the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.
The stakes are high for the Porcupine Warriors in the penultimate tie as they need a win to place them in a qualifying zone to make the semis ahead of the final round of games.
Kotoko occupy the second position with 18 points, one less than Medeama on 19.
The Fabulous boys will also seek revenge of their first leg 1-0 defeat at Tarkwa to their ‘Mauve and Yellow’ opponents.
Trainer of Kotoko, C.K. Akonnor, is fully aware only a stellar performance from his lads can ensure victory on the day.
His charges have not impressed in their last two outings at the Baba Yara Stadium – earning a draw against Bechem United and a slim 1-0 win over Eleven Wonders .
Coach Akonnor will count on in-form forward Fatau Abdul Safiw, Captain Amos Frimpong and playmaker Emmanuel Gyamfi for the huge task.
Medeama Coach Samuel Boadi will also rely on midfield stalwart Justice Blay, Tahiru Awudu, Captain Samuel Appiah and Kwame Boateng to ensure his side maintains their position at the top.
In the other games, Ashantigold who are closely chasing the pack in third place will welcome a rejuvenated Bechem United side.
The ‘Miners’ are eager to add the ‘Hunters’ to their latest victims at the Len Clay Stadium after dispatching Aduana 4-1 at the same venue in their mid-week clash.
The ‘Miners’ however must be wary of their visitors who will be spurred on by their 3-1 mid-week away win in Berekum against Chelsea.
In Techiman, Eleven Wonders must dust-off their 1-0 mid-week loss to Kotoko to battle Dormaa-based Aduana on home turf.
The home team will hope to end the competition on a positive note after a slow start.
At the Accra Sports Stadium, high flying Accra Hearts of Oak is expected to put fourth placed Elmina Sharks to the sword in their southern sector clash, writes RAYMOND ACKUMEY.
Sharks won the reverse fixture at the Nduom Stadium last month with an 84th minute strike from striker Felix Addo.
Grant and his charges have served notice of finishing the league with 29 points, meaning an aim for a win and at least a draw in their last two games.
They have since declared tomorrow’s tie a must-win and would leave no stone unturned in their quest to realize that dream.
However, Coach Joachim Yaw Acheampong has predicted a double over the Phobians to spoil Hearts party.
“I have what it takes to stop them. Since taking up coaching in the league, Hearts have not beaten me and tomorrow would not be any different. We will maintain that good record.”
Second placed Karela United have shaken off their surprise 1-0 loss at the hands of leaders Hearts of Oak in mid-week and will show no mercy when they welcome Dreams FC to the Crosby Awuah Memorial Park in Aiyinase.
The red-hot Karela side will stop at nothing to pick all three points at stake knowing a slip can be very dangerous to their qualification ambitions.
Karela United who are on 21 points have two points separating them from third place Liberty and should they fail to beat Dreams FC, Liberty may overtake them with a win in their game against Ebusua Dwarfs.
Bottom placed Inter Allies who lost at home to Dansoman based Liberty Professionals in mid-week will stay at the Tema Park to play WAFA in a face- saving game.
Allies coach Umit Turmus believes a win in their final two games would settle some nerves at the club.
His opposite number Frenchman Patrick Liewig is also hoping to finish among the top two and has set his sight on picking all three points to boost his side’s chances.
Cape Coast Ebusua Dwarfs who will move to the Dawu Park where they host Liberty Professionals, who are in the reckoning for qualification for the semi-final stage.
Liberty kept their dreams alive with a shock 2-0 defeat of Inter Allies away and need all the points tomorrow to inch closer to qualification, should Karela United falter.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO