Asante Kotoko will be at one of their uncomfortable venues, Sogakope, today to face WAFA in a dicey Ghana Premier League (GPL) eighth week fixture.
The Sogakope pitch is believed to be serving the academy side some level of advantage as most of the clubs remain unfamiliar with the surface and move to academies with the same facility to train to become conversant.
Hearts of Oak suffered one of their heaviest defeats as a result of this. Kotoko fell too that same season as Sogakope become a waterloo for many visiting sides.
That aside, Kotoko’s struggles suggests a team that has all the big names but lack the quality on the field.
Despite earning the bragging rights in their prime game of the season against Hearts of Oak in Accra, the performance exhibited in that game was nothing to be enthused about.
A week on, they endured a Liberty Professionals scare to earn a draw again the ‘Scientific Soccer Lads’ in Kumasi, plucking an equalizer with four minutes to the end of the match.
It would not have been so if Liberty had converted the close chances that came their way including a two face-to-face situations with Kotoko’s goalkeeper.
This has become a worry for their teeming fans ahead of the WAFA clash, knowing the capabilities of the academy lads at home and their stubbornness when they come against the big clubs.
Coming from their first away win against Great Olympics on Sunday, the younger and athletic players will be spurred on by that exploit and chase the Porcupine Warriors for a big win.
Against Hearts of Oak a fortnight ago, they fail to exercise that control usually seen in their home matches with the Phobians containing them and even having the better part of the exchanges until the latter stages of the match where Hearts lived dangerously.
This suggests that visiting clubs are beginning to find a way to neutralize their advantage and that is where Kotoko’s strength lies against this latest generation of WAFA team that seem to have lost a number of their experienced performers.
With the arsenal available to Kotoko, they come as favourites but must improve in their play otherwise they could drop points again; a situation that is unhealthy to their quest to snatch a slot to Africa.
At Berekum, high-flying Berekum Chelsea will face a determined Karela United in a match that promises to be full of fireworks.
Undoubtedly the major revelation of the season so far, the mere mention of Chelsea have sent shock signals everywhere and are going stronger as the matches tickle away.
When they pip Hearts in Accra on opening day, many thought it was a fluke but when they dealt similar blows to Kotoko and Ashgold, they were taken serious by all.
Surprisingly, they have not been that ruthless at home as they recorded some draws in matches they were expected to win handsomely.
Karela are yet to find their rhythm but will hope to unsettle the Chelsea lads with an improved performance as Diawase Taylor begins to shine for the side but Chelsea will still be strong at home to annex the maximum points.
Dwarfs may be playing at home but are not expected to survive the raids of Aduana Stars when they clash at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.
Sadly, Dwarfs, one of the traditional clubs in the competition have failed to win a single game with only three draws to boast of.
For Aduana Stars whose top striker Yahaya Mohammed currently led the goal-king chat with seven goals, an average of a goal per match, they will keep their eyes on the prize by winning against the hapless Ebusua Dwarfs.
Inter Allies have lacked consistency so far but will need to be firm if they want to return to Accra with a point when they play Techiman XI Wonders at Techiman.
At the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, King Faisal and Accra Great Olympics will clash in a match of equals as both sides aim to ensure their safety in the competition.
Elsewhere, Liberty Professionals will engage Dreams FC at the Carl Reindorf Park at Dansoman while Medeama SC host Bechem United at the Akoon Park in Tarkwa.
Legon Cities will host Elmina Sharks in Accra with the clash between Hearts and Ashgold set for the Accra Stadium tomorrow.
BY ANDREW NORTEY