Kumasi Asante Kotoko will be seeking to avenge defeat when they clash with arch rivals Hearts of Oak in Accra on Sunday as the two sides clash in Ghana’s biggest game of the season.
The Porcupine Warriors lost the first round encounter 1-0 at home at the Baba Yara Stadium and are seeking to make amends.
Their history and rivalry dominates the league campaign, overshadowing the giant strides made by some emerging sides – Berekum Chelsea, Aduana and Medeama.
Sometimes choice of match officials, fees paid at the gates, number of times each side has won the league title add to the excitement before the match.
The number of complimentary tickets the one playing at home should give the away team, past records in respect of who has won most matches, caliber of players available for selection and jersey colours, as well as which team should come on the pitch first have also contributed to the tension and controversies that characterize matches between Hearts and Kotoko.
Such tensions and controversies often have a way of making matches between the two sides very high on drama, but very low in beauty.
And judging from the tough talk some officials from both sides have started, Sunday’s clash between the two sides will not be devoid of the usual tension, excitement, drama and controversy.
A win for Hearts, playing at home would give them a sweet double over their rivals and at least something to cheer about in their centenary year but on the other hand, Kotoko always would savour victory, if the Phobians are the victims.
Apart from the fierce rivalry between Hearts and Kotoko, the coaching aspect of the two teams has added spice to Sunday’s clash in Accra.
Both teams struggled at the start of the season, and Serbian coaches Vuvucevic Nebojsa of Hearts and Kotoko’s Bogdan Korak profited from the technical chances made by the two giants.
And like their previous encounters, current form will not be a determinant factor for the outcome of the game.
Now is the time for the two coaches to battle it out in the biggest game of the season to see who emerges the best brain among the two coaches.
A victory for one side will confirm the coach as competent and could spell the doom of the trainer on the losing side.
Elsewhere, uncrowned league champions Berekum Chelsea will travel to play BA Stars, while second-placed Medeama host Heart of Lions at Kpando.
Wa All Stars will trek to play Aduana at Dormaa with Mighty Jets playing as guests of RTU at the Tamale Stadium.
At the Baba Yara Stadium, King Faisal will battle Liberty Professionals, while New Edubiase host Ebusua Dwarfs.
The Arsenals-Ashgold game has been pushed forward as a result of the latter’s continental assignment.