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Redemption Day: Kotoko battle rivals Hearts of Oak in Sunday's blockbuster showdown in Kumasi

2 weeks ago
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Asante Kotoko will be bidding to move five points clear of Hearts of Oak when they welcome their bitter rivals to the Kumasi Sports Stadium in the country's biggest Premier League fixture on Sunday.

The extravaganza clash pit the two glamourous clubs against each other in a match of epic proportions in Ghana's second largest city, Kumasi on May 26, 2024.

Kotoko will be aiming to turn the corner after they lost 2-1 at Berekum Chelsea, as Mezack Afriyie scored an injury-time winner at the Golden City park.

Hearts on the other hand, lost 1-0 at home to Aduana FC,  to heap pressure on the team ahead of their trip to Kumasi on Sunday.

Kotoko return to their stomping ground in confident mood after they beat their rivals 3-2 in the first fixture back in December, 2023.

Kotoko are 10th on the league table with 40 points after 30 matches, having won 2, drawn 1 and suffered 2 defeats in their last 5 games.

The Porcupine Warriors have managed to accumulate 24 points at home, scoring 13 and conceding 9. They’ve won their last two home league games without conceding and managed clean sheets in both matches against Legon Cities and FC Samartex 1996.

Kotoko are the 3rd weakest home side in the league this season.

Hearts of Oak have won 2 and suffered 3 defeats in their last 5 league games. They are currently 12th on the table after 30 matches with 38 points. The Phobians have managed to secure 15 accumulated points away from home and ranked as the 4th best away performers in this campaign. They’ve scored 13 and conceded 16 goals.

Hearts of Oak head into this fixture with a victory in their last away match against Berekum Chelsea at the Golden City Park.

Asante Kotoko have played Hearts of Oak three times at home in the league since 2020/21 season with Asante Kotoko winning one and drawing two.

In the 2020/21 season, Asante Kotoko drew goalless against Hearts of Oak, won 1-0 in the 2021/22 season before recording a 1-1 draw in the 2022/23 season.

Stephen Mukwala Desse has scored in the last three consecutive league matches for the Porcupine Warriors and will be available for the game on Sunday.

Peter Acquah, Justice Blay, Yahaya Baba, Emmanuel Kotei, Nicholas Bonsu, Serge Eric Zeze, Sherif Mohammed, Shadrack Addo, Kalo Ouattara, Bernard Somuah, Augustine Agyapong, Michael Kyei, Enoch Morrison, Andrews Ntim and Rocky Dwamena are all likely to be available.

Youngster Hamza Issah has banged in 12 league goals for the Phobians this season and is expected to start the match on Sunday with the hope of extending his goal tally.

Other key players to watch include, Salim Adams, Kofi Agbesimah, Michael Ampadu, Yaw Amankwah Baafi, Denis Korsah, Issah Kuka, Linda Mtange, Glid Otanga, Kasim Cisse, David Oppong Afrane, Salifu Ibrahim, Martin Karikari, Seidu Suraj and Thomas Winimi all fit and available for selection.