Kotoko host Inter Allies, Hearts face tricky test in Berekum

Photos By Senyuiedzorm A. Adadevoh

With the much anticipated clash between the Premier League leading title hopefuls – Aduana Stars – and hurting Champions – Wa All Stars – who suffered a humiliating 4-1 home thumping this past weekend in their outstanding match against WAFA postponed, title contenders – Kumasi Asante Kotoko – will have the chance to take over the top spot as they go for the rebound at home following their lone goal loss to rivals – Hearts of Oak – in the Super Clash against Inter Allies on Sunday as hardworking – Elmina Stars – jumpstarts Week 9 at home on Saturday against Liberty Professionals with the chance to break into the ranks of the top four.
Third placed Academy Soccer Lads, WAFA, who plucked their first road win after 27 tries will be hard-pressed to haul in another road win as they take on Bechem Utd in the top four encounter of the day, Hearts of Oak will be hoping to make up for some lost ground in their title quest as guests of Berekum Chelsea, and Tema Youth will look to pick up the max points against struggling Medeama SC at Accra

Elsewhere, Gt. Olympics will be on the hunt for their first win on the field against Ebusua Dwarfs, and bottom AshGold will have a go at the 3points at home against bottommost Bolga All Stars.
Recommended: GPL Week 8 Preview – Pressure mounts on Aduana to win, Medeama likely to add to Gt. Olympics’ woes as WAFA, Bolga All Stars and Liberty go for the rebound at home
Recommended: GPL Week 8 Roundup – Dwarfs stifle Aduana, Elmina Sharks, WAFA, and Bolga All Stars win, Gt. Olympics remain winless after 8 tries

Asante Kotoko v Inter Allies – Kumasi

Asante Kotoko have their work cut out for them when they take on Inter Allies at the Baba Yara stadium. The Porcupines are under pressure to bounce back after their Super Clash defeat as they host Inter Allies.
Coach Zdravko Lugarusic took a break after the defeat but he is back with renewed confidence and one critical aspect he must deal with is his attacker’s profligacy in front of goal.
Kotoko have scored 7 goals in 8 games, an average of 0.8 per game, not the kind of numbers a team vying for the championship should be producing. But fortunately for them, the Eleven is to One side have scored one less and conceded in every game since their opening day stalemate against Hearts.
The head to head record also favors Kotoko, having lost once in six meetings since the Labadi-based club joined the topflight in 2013.

STATS;

* Asante Kotoko have so far kept 228 CLEAN SHEETS out of 502 games in the GPL since 1999.

* Inter-Allies have so far kept 34 CLEAN SHEETS out of 98 games played in the GPL since 2013.

* Asante Kotoko have won the Ghana league title on 23 occasions since the competition started in 1958.

* Inter-Allies Best position in the Ghana Premier League since 2013 is 6th with 42 points in the 2014-15 season.

* Asante Kotoko worse performance in the Ghana league since 1958 is 11th out of 15-club league in the 1970 season.

* Inter-Allies worse performance in the GPL since 2013 is 12th with 38 points in the 2015-16 season.

* Kumasi Asante Kotoko are currently 2nd with 17 points after Day 8 games while Inter-Allies on the other hand are 12th with 9 points on the Ghana top-flight log.

Berekum Chelsea v Hearts of Oak – Berekum

Hearts go into the clash this time having beaten sworn rivals Kotoko 1-0 at the Accra sports stadium. It was a different scenario last season as they had lost to the Porcupines at the same venue courtesy of a Soulama Abdoulaye own goal. But the Phobians went all the way to Berekum to beat Chelsea.
They would relish another win but it will not come easily as Chelsea are looking formidable and ruthless at home this term. The Blues have scored 8 goals in 4 outings at the Golden City Park which means the defensive pair of Inusah Musah and Vincent Atingah who have stood tall thus far must be at their very best to curtail the rapid attack led by Seth Appiah who has 5 goals.
Scottish trainer Frank Nuttall is still tinkering with the squad but for Chelsea, Steve Polak’s experience has come in handy. Both coaches are tactically astute and whoever gets it right on the day takes the three points.

STATS:

* Berekum Chelsea have so far kept 113 CLEAN SHEETS out of 248 games in the GPL since 2008.

* Hearts of Oak have so far kept 214 CLEAN SHEETS out of 502 games in the Ghana premier league since 1999.

* Berekum Chelsea won the Ghana League title with 57 points in the 2010-11 season.

* Hearts of Oak have won the Ghana League title on 19 occasions since the competition started in 1958.

* Berekum Chelsea worse performance in the Ghana premier league since 2008 is 12th with 40 points in the 2013-14 season.

* Hearts of Oak worse performance in the Ghana League since the competition started in 1958 is 13th with 40 points in the 2014-15 season.

* Berekum Chelsea are currently 8th with 11 points after Day 8 games while Hearts of Oak on the other are 7th with 12 points on the Ghana top-flight log.

Tema Youth v Medeama – Tema

Medeama faces a tough battle away from home in their bid to move out of the relegation zone. The Muaves have endured a plucky start despite the hype of being one of the favorites to land the title. Ahead of the break, they fluffed the chance to pick up a win at home against Olympics.
What makes the fixture a difficult one is the fact that Tema Youth are unbeaten in Tema despite playing big guns like Hearts, Chelsea and AshGold. The Harbor boys fear no foe at home but it is very important that they don’t get complacent as Medeama are well armed to cause an upset.

STATS:

* Tema Youth have so far kept 37 CLEAN SHEETS out of 155 games in the GPL since 2006.

* Medeama (Kessben) have so far kept 83 CLEAN SHEETS out of 278 games in the GPL since 2007.

* Tema Youth Best performance in the GPL is 5th with 44 points in the 2007-08 season.

* Medeama Best position in the Ghana Premier League since 2007 is 3rd with 50 points in the 2012-13 season.

* Tema Youth have been relegated on 2 occasions in the Ghana premier league since 2006 (2008-09 & 2012-13).

* Medeama worse performance in the Ghana Premier League since 2007 is 11th in the 2013-14 & 2014-15 seasons with 40 and 41 points respectively.

* Tema Youth are currently 10th with 10 points after Day 8 games while Medeama on the other hand are 14th with 7 points on the Ghana top-flight log.

 

Bechem United v WAFA – Bechem

 

Goals are expected to be aplenty in Bechem when the Hunters take on highflying WAFA at the Nana Gyeabour Park this weekend but trust the home side, currently fourth, to make the most of home court as they eye up the third spot.
WAFA
The past weekend was a memorable one for the Academy Boys as they humiliated WA All Stars in WA, battering the Defending Champions by four goals to one for their first away in 27 matches. And they would relish another road win as they take on Bechem United.
Bechem are under no pressure, progressing and enjoying their season under the guidance of Vincenzo Alberto. The Italian is continuing from where Manuel Zacharias left off and thus far it has been very fruitful.

STATS:

* The last AWAY side to prevent Bechem United from scoring @ HOME in the GPL is Asante Kotoko who secured 1-0 win on 18th May, 2016 in match Day 12 in the 2015-16 season.

* Bechem Utd have so far kept 42 CLEAN SHEETS out 121 games in the GPL since 2011.

* WAFA (Feyenoord) have so far kept 52 CLEAN SHEETS out 140 games in the GPL since 2004.

* Bechem United Best position in the Ghana premier league since 2011 is 5th with 42 points in the 2013-14 season.

* WAFA (Feyenoord) Best position in the GPL since 2004 is 6th with 42 points in the 2015-16 season.

* Bechem United worse performance in the GPL since 2011 is 15th with 29 points and they were relegated in the 2011-12 season.

* WAFA (Feyenoord) worse performance in the Ghana premier league since 2004 is 15th with 32 points in the 2006-07 season and they were relegated.

* Bechem United are currently 4th with 14 points after Day 8 games while WAFA on the other hand are 3rd with 14 points on the Ghana top-flight log.

Great Olympics v Ebusua Dwarfs – Accra

Olympics will fancy themselves winners against Ebusua Dwarfs at home this weekend.
The Wonder club is yet to pick up a win on the field despite receiving three points from the boardroom, but considering the poor away record of Dwarfs, fans can be very optimistic of a positive results.
For Dwarfs, they will have to punch above their weight on this road trip to stun Gt. Olympics. A defensive counter-attacking style would be ideal to frustrate Godwin Attram’s men.

STATS:

* Ebusua Dwarfs have so far kept 70 CLEAN SHEETS out 218 games in the GPL since 1999.

* Great Olympics have won the Ghana League title on 2 occasions since the competition started in 1958. (1970 & 1974)

* Ebusua Dwarfs won the 1967 Ghana League title which was played on knock-out bases. Dwarfs won the tournament through toss of coin, after drawing 1-1 on two occasions with Sekondi Eleven Wise in the final.
 
* Great Olympics have been relegated on 4 occasions in the Ghana League history since the competition started in 1958.
(2004, 2007-08, 2009-10 & 2014-15).

* Ebusua Dwarfs have been relegated on 6 occasions since the competition started in 1958 (1981, 1985-86, 1989-90, 2000, 2005 & 2013-14).

* Accra Great Olympics are currently 13th with 7 points after Day 8 games while Ebusua Dwarfs on the other hand are 9th with 11 points on the Ghana top-flight log.

 

AshantiGold v Bolga All Stars – Obuasi

In as much as their performances have been nothing to write home about, AshGold cannot afford to drop points against a troubled but resurging Bolga All Stars.
This will be the first meeting between the two and luckily for the struggling Miners they will be at home, a huge opportunity for them to get their campaign back on the right track.
Bolga can only hope not to concede a lot after shipping in 18 goals already.

 

STATS:

* Bolga All Stars yet to play AWAY match in the month of APRIL in the GPL since February 12 when they had their debut game in the competition.

* The last AWAY side to prevent AshGold from scoring @ HOME in the GPL is Asante Kotoko who secured 1-0 win on 27th Feb 2017 in match Day 4 in the 2016-17 season.

* AshGold (Goldfields) have so far kept 200 CLEAN SHEETS out of 502 games in the GPL since 1999.

* Bolga All Stars have so far kept 1 CLEAN SHEET out of 8 games in the Ghana Premier League since February 12.

* AshGold (Goldfields) have won the Ghana League title on 4 occasions since 1985. (1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96 & 2014-15)

* AshGold (Goldfields) worse performance in the Ghana Premier League is 14th with 26 points in the 2003 season. PLAY OFF  

* AshantiGold are currently 15th with 7 points after Day 8 games while Bolga All Stars the other hand are 16th with 4 points on the Ghana top-flight log.

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