GPL Preview: Wa All Stars vs Kotoko

Asante Kotoko are set for a tough test when they travel to Wa to lock horns with Wa All Stars at the Abdul Malik Jabir Park.

The Porcupine Warriors started the season dreaming of another title, but have seen that ambition given a heavy shove after just eight rounds of matches.

Kotoko currently find themselves out of the top four and are four points behind league leaders Ashanti Gold, who have a game in hand.

If last week’s 1-0 loss to Dreams FC was shocking, then midweek’s 1-1 draw with Berekum Chelsea was even more disappointing. The Kumasi giants have endured an inconsistent season so far, winning just two games in the last six outings.

In Wa All Stars they face an opponent equally in dire need of points. The Northern Blues lie bottom of the Ghana Premier League table, having made their worst start to a season since joining the top flight.

The club has won just a game – against Berekum Chelsea – since the season started and have lost each of their last three consecutive league games.

The Wa Park used to be a fortress for the 2014/15 champions, however, they seem to have lost that spark following the departure of several key players. But with the club sitting bottom of the table and in serious need of points to stay afloat, there is no doubt that they will prove a hard nut to crack when Kotoko come to town.

Newly appointed coach Castro Sarfo has struggled to save the sinking ship, however, he would definitely view this game as a chance to make a big statement.

His opposite number at Kotoko, Paa Kwesi Fabin is also under serious pressure to deliver following the club’s poor string of results in recent weeks.

The Porcupine Warriors manager has pleaded for patience from supporters and believes with time he will transform the fortunes of the club.

"I'm definitely not impressed with the results we are picking nowadays but it's a work in progress. Before the end of the first round, things will surely improve," Paa Kwesi Fabin told a media conference.

"The supporters must understand that I'm not a magician to turn the Kotoko team around in only two months. It's impossible and I don't think even Pep Guardiola can do that with the materials available.”

With both Castro and Fabin under huge pressure, it remains to be seen who comes out tops when the tactical battle line is drawn come Sunday.