Asante Kotoko Coach, Maxwell Konadu, is optimistic of victory against rivals Ashantigold (Ashgold) in their fierce Ghana Premier League (GPL) Week 10 regional derby at the Baba Yara Stadium tomorrow.
Coach Konadu said his side was not intimidated by the current performance of Ashgold but remained worried about honouring the match behind closed doors.
“Our match against Ashgold on Sunday is going to be cool, but the only difference is that we will be playing without our supporters, which is very bad.
“In fact, this ban has really affected my team’s performance. We are happy that we will be getting our supporters back after this match,” he told the media in a pre-match interview last Thursday.
The Porcupine Warriors and the Soccer Miners are joint leaders with Aduana Stars, Medeama and Berekum Chelsea on 17 points but are separated only on goal difference, making their respective 10th week ties tricky.
Ahead of the match, the Porcupine Warriors defeated Division Two club Jachie Academy 11-3 in a friendly at Adako Jachie last Thursday.
Players to watch
Konadu is expected rely on Kotoko’s player of the month, Justice Blay, returnee Songne Yacouba who scored twice in the friendly, Kwame Opoku, teenage sensation Matthew Anim Cudjoe, Christopher Nettey, Augustine Okrah and Naby Keita, among others to torment the visitors.
In the absence of their skipper and goal poacher, Shafiu Mumuni, Ashgold’s stand-in coach Yakubu Mambo will bank his hopes on Appiah McCarthy, James Akaminko, Mark Agyekum, Leonard Owusu, Latif Anabila, Kwadwo Amoako, Amos Addai and Eric Donkor to create problems for their opponents.
Kotoko have scored 10 goals this season as against eight by Ashgold, an indication that the attacking machinery of both sides is clinical. But it remains to be seen whether Ashgold can turn the situation around without the influential Mumuni, whose absence has affected their scoring rate of late.
In the other matches, ninth-placed Hearts of Oak need a home win badly against Bechem United at the Accra Sports Stadium to move up the ladder, while Aduana Stars can get at least a point against Liberty Professionals at the Carl Reindorf Park, Dansoman.
At the Cape Coast Stadium, bottom clubs Ebusua Dwarfs and Karela United will battle it out for the three points at stake, while Medeama SC have the edge over Elmina Sharks in their clash at the Tarkwa Akoon Park, Tarkwa.