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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

PREVIEW: Hearts-Kotoko battle for supremacy

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Photos By Senyuiedzorm A. Adadevoh

Bitterest rivals Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko face off in Accra in another edition of the Super 2 clash with both teams facing contrasting fortunes.

The Phobians are yet to find their rhythm and have been inconsistent with both their form and performances. Two wins out of seven, back to back away form and seemingly growing tension between fans and coach seem to have dwindled the fortunes of the capital club heading into the game.

Inusah Musah and Vincent Atinga will provide protection at the rear but the biggest bane for Hearts has been in the offensive third and returnee Winful Cobbinah could be thrown into the fray in the wake of calls from fans.

Aside a dip in form, Hearts coach Frank Nuttall will have to devise a strategy to counter the unflashy yet effective 3-5-2 formation of Kotoko.

But the Scottish is confident his side can find a way through.

“I am looking forward to the game just like the fans and the players. It is an important game just like any other game which is always a big game.We were unfortunate against Tema Youth because of individual mistakes, overall the team played well but the team has recovered and will be ready for Kotoko. We expect full voices from the supporters and great understanding that the team is trying hard for them, and I am also trying hard for them and show some patience as we achieve our goals,” Nuttall told Hearts news

Kotoko are joint top and undefeated coming into the capital. The Porcupine Warriors have been rock solid in defence and have only been breached twice in 630 minutes of league soccer.

In addition to this, they have possibly one of the in form players in the league with wide man Emmanuel Gyamfi terrorizing defences week in week out. His accomplice has been former Hearts man Ashittey Ollenu who crossed carpets this season

Eight years without a league defeat in Accra serves as greater motivation heading into the tie with victory possibly propelling them to the top but assistant coach Godwin Ablordey is not raising expectations to put pressure on the team.

I know Hearts-Kotoko are self motivated matches. We need to guide the boys and not push them too much to avoid putiing pressure on them. They should relax and focus on the game and allow the fans to give them the needed support,” Ablordey told Joy Sports.

90 minutes await us in Accra but these minutes will not be short of drama, a charged atmosphere, superstitious acts, tension and hopefully goals to crown the day.

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