Match Preview: Kotoko Vrs Hearts, Who Gets the Bragging Rights?

Match Preview: Kotoko Vrs Hearts, Who Gets the Bragging Rights?

The first Super Clash game of the season comes off at the Accra Sports Stadium as Hearts of Oak host Asante Kotoko in the Ghana Premier League match day six. This is the biggest game in the country.

The game has generated a lot of interest owing to the impressive performance of the two clubs in their last games. Both clubs are ready to put in their best for the three points and also the bragging rights.

Both teams recorded wins in their respective matches on match day five of the Ghana Premier League. Hearts came from behind to beat Liberty Professionals 2-1 with two late goals while Asante Kotoko defeated Ebusua Dwarfs 2-0 at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium with also two late goals.

Hearts of Oak have won two, drawn one and lost two after five games in the league this season. Asante Kotoko SC have won three games and also lost two after five matches this season.

Edward Nii Odoom heads into his second Super Clash. He won the first 1-0 courtesy of Patrick Razak strike in 2018 at the Baba Yara Stadium.

Maxwell Konadu can also boast of a good record against the Phobians. He is unbeaten against the Accra based side in three games (2W 1D) and would aim to maintain that tomorrow.

What have the managers been saying ahead of the superclash?

Edward Nii Odoom has huge opportunity to secure Hearts of Oak job as a head coach on a permanent basis with a win on Sunday. He has been working as an interim coach since Kim Grant was sacked after the matchweek 1 game defeat against Berekum Chelsea.

So far, Odoom has done an okay job and he appears to be a happy man heading into this game. 4 games (2 wins, 1 draw, 1 lose)

“Since the Sogakope match (0-0 against WAFA) things have changed a bit. They have understood what we want and they are playing to what I have told them to do. We are going the same way We are not stepping back”, Odoom told TV3.

“It’s all about hard work because Hearts of Oak is a big brand and we must also do our things right to get to where everyone wants Hearts of Oak to be.”

“My boys are playing fantastic football and they have understood the concept.”

Kotoko coach Maxwell Konadu believes his side is fired up and ready for tomorrow’s clash and want their fans to be confident of a positive outcome.

“Kotoko is always ready for Hearts of Oak encounters,” he told Asempa FM.

“I believe they (Hearts of Oak) are always ready for us. You know matches between these two sides is a high profile game and nobody is going to relax”.

“I know they are preparing very well and have one eye on this game.

“It is going to be an interesting game. We have one eye on the game. The El Clasico is on so let us wait and see what happens on Sunday,” he added.

TEAM NEWS

Hearts of Oak

The Phobians are without the services of Kwadwo Obeng Junior due to injury and are now set to subject Joseph Esso to late fitness test but apart from that, Coach Odoom has the full complement of his squad to choose from.

It is likely that Odoom will deploy a 4-3-3 formation to allow his team to stamp their authority in the middle of the park. Debutant Daniel Afriyie is expected to replace the injured Kojo Obeng Jnr.

Edward Nii Odoom has named a 20 man squad to face Asante Kotoko SC

Keepers
Richmond Ayi, Richard Attah

Defenders
Christopher Bonney, Fatawu Mohammed, William Denkyi , Raddy Ovouka, Mohammed Alhassan, Agyare Benjamin, Addo Robert Sowah

Midfielders
Benjamin Kotey Afutu, Emmanuel Nettey, Frederick A.Botchway, Nurudeen Aziz, Dominic Eshun, Umar Manaf Gumah, Aminu Mohammed

Strikers
Daniel Afriyie, Joseph Esso, Kofi Kordzi, Bernard Arthur.

Expected Starting XI: Richard Attah, Fatawu Mohammed, Robert Addo Sowah, Mohammed Alhassan, Raddy Ovouka, Benjamin Afutu, Frederick Ansah Botchway, Emmanuel Nettey, Joseph Esso, Daniel Afriyie, Kofi Kordzi

Asante Kotoko

Centre-back Emmanuel Agyemang Badu will miss the Super Clash through suspension, after he picked up his third booking of the season against Ebusua Dwarfs. Collins Ameyaw and Mudasiru Salifu returned to full training on Monday ahead of the Hearts of Oak clash.

The midfield duo were Maxwell Konadu’s preferred first choices but suffered injuries during the team’s loss against Berekum Chelsea. Imoro Ibrahim is also back from his one-game suspension. Asante Kotoko can also boast of the returns of Abdul Ganiu and Maxwell Baako who played a full 90 minutes of their friendly game against Kumawuman FC last Tuesday. They won 4-1.

Their new striker, William Opoku Mensah could be handed a debut start after the regulatory processes of the striker’s registration was completed this week and has received his ITC.
He’s has been training with the Asante Kotoko squad for the past two weeks. According to media reports, Songne Yacouba will not travel with the team to Accra due to the stories which came up this week involving his contractual issues.

Expected Starting XI: Felix Annan, Imoro Ibrahim, Christopher Nettey, Habib Mohammed, Wahab Adams, Mudasiru Salifu, Justice Blay, Adom Frimpong, Naby Keita, Emmanuel Gyamfi, Augustine Okrah.

Head to head record
Total league matches played since 1958 = 106

Hearts wins = 35

Kotoko wins = 33

Draws = 38

Since 2006, the two teams have met 23 times in the league. Hearts have 10 wins while Kotoko have won six(6). Seven (7) have ended in draws. Within the period, 35 goals have been scored between the two teams with Hearts of oak scoring more (18 goals), Kotoko (17 goals).

Kotoko have won only 5 matches in Accra since 2006, Hearts have four wins and two have ended in draws. Hearts of oak have scored seven goals at home as against Kotoko’s nine at the Accra Sports Stadium.

The Porcupine Warriors have had more points in Accra than the Phobians. Kotoko have garnered 18 points out of a possible 33 points in Accra, while the hosts have won 15 points within that same period.

Hearts of Oak vs Asante Kotoko Last 15 GPL Games
29-04-18: Asante Kotoko 0-1 Hearts of Oak
06-08-17: Asante Kotoko 1-1 Hearts of Oak
19-03-17: Hearts of Oak 1-0 Asante Kotoko
24-07-16: Asante Kotoko 1-1 Hearts of Oak
02-05-16: Hearts of Oak 0-1 Asante Kotoko
02-08-15: Hearts of Oak 1-2 Asante Kotoko
07-02-15: Asante Kotoko 0-1 Hearts of Oak
01-06-14: Hearts of Oak 0-0 Asante Kotoko
22-09-13: Hearts of Oak 0-1 Asante Kotoko
05-05-13: Hearts of Oak 1-1 Asante Kotoko
18-11-12: Asante Kotoko 0-0 Hearts of Oak
15-04-12: Asante Kotoko 2-1 Hearts of Oak
20-11-11: Hearts of Oak 0-0 Asante Kotoko
20-03-11: Hearts of Oak 0-2 Asante Kotoko
31-10-10: Asante Kotoko 0-1 Hearts of Oak

Match Officials
Referee: Emmanuel Eshun
Assistant One: Dawsa Peter
Assistant Two: Bawa Haruna
Fourth Official: George Mawuli
Match Commissioner: Andrews Tamakloe

Predictions by #KobbyKyeiSportsNews crew;
Nuamz: Hearts of oak 1-2 Asante Kotoko
Richie: Hearts of oak 1-2 Asante Kotoko
Kwabena: Hearts of oak 0-2 Asante Kotoko
Joseph Amino: Hearts of Oak 2-1 Asante Kotoko
Kyika: Hearts of Oak 1-1 Asante Kotoko
Qwesi Nabila: Hearts of Oak 1-1 Asante Kotoko