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26 June 2016

GPL PREVIEW: Hearts begin life without Kenichi…

GPL PREVIEW: Hearts begin life without Kenichi, Kotoko venture into the lion’s den at Techiman

Kotoko ventureThe league returns after a three week hiatus with matchday 16 fixtures. These games are the reverse fixtures of matchday 15.  We preview all eight games.

HEARTS VS DREAMS

There will be no better place to start than in Accra where Hearts begin the post Kenichi era. Six days before hosting Dreams, Hearts parted ways the Japanese American paving the way for Portuguese Sergio Tranquil to take charge. Reports indicate he comes in with a gung ho philosophy with his Hearts set to dominate opponents by keeping possession and pressing deep in opponents half. As to whether he will be a crowd puller, only time will tell. But his immediate task is against Dreams whom he believes have weakness to be attacked. “I have already seen some series of pictures of Dreams FC. I have seen their weakness and their strong points so I have to prepare the team to be in a good shape so we can go into the match on Sunday and pick the three maximum points. I am preparing the team to attack the weaknesses of Dreams FC. No doubt that they are a very good team but in my philosophy we will get the three points because the team is responding very well and I have seen it when they train and I know that they will play all out to get all the three points.” Dreams themselves are still aggrieved after their late winner against Hearts was chalked off. They have included experience in their ranks with the signing of Philemon McCArthy and Abeiku Ainooson. An excellent game this will be.

KOTOKO VS TECHIMAN CITY

Techiman City host Kotoko without head coach Yusuf Abubakar who left the club after receiving threats from the fans. The opponents on the day also come into the game without their own trouble. They were bundled out of the FA Cup by another Brong Ahafo side making the league a must win for Kotoko now. Michael Osei, who is set to take charge till the end of the season  after David Duncan parted ways with the club, has won three out four away games and will hope Brong Ahafo provides him another away win but Techiman City owner Charles Ntim has other ideas. “In the first round of the league we lost to Kotoko by 4-2 and it was inexperience that cost us but in the past years, you can see that Kotoko has not been the same and I strongly believe we can shock Kotoko and secure a win over them.”

* MATCH FACTS

* Both Clubs are yet to WIN over the other in any VENUE in the GPL since 21st Feb. 2016 when Dreams had their debut game.

* MATCH FACTS

* The only LEAGUE  game that kotoko club have played against a team based in Techiman was in the  1985-86 season and it was Holy Stars. The game was played on 1985 in the 1st round. Techiman Holy Stars 1-0 Kotoko.

WA ALL STARS VS BEREKUM CHELSEA

Leaders Wa All Stars will be looking to complete a double over Berekum Chelsea in Wa after beating the Brong Ahafo side in Berekum. All Stars lead the table by two points and know very well a slip up could see them relinquish top spot. There are 15 more games between the Wa side and league glory. Seven of these games will be on the road and the General Manager Oduro Nyarko is hoping fatigue of travelling does not catch up with them. “I am praying that fatigue will not happen this time around because if you travel from Wa to play at Essipong, Sogakope and we even travel as far as Tarkwa it will affect them and we are planning what we can do to avoid such cases. One worrying thing is, we have to travel to Sogakope to play WAFA and it is not an easy journey but we will make sure that we give those two clubs a tough round as the league resumes this weekend and I believe that we can play the second round very well,” Nyarko said. Chelsea however are still in dreamland after keeping hold of star striker Saddick Adams despite interests from bigger clubs. Despite this, they might have to improve on their away form which has been abysmal.

BECHEM UNITED VS ADUANA
All Stars closest challengers Aduana, are involved in a Bono derby against Bechem United.  The Dormaa side have won only one out of three derbies so far and will have to be at their utmost best against the Hunters who are still in jubilant mood after their sensational FA Cup triumph over Kotoko. Aduana have added another offensive threat in Nathaniel Asamoah to their team. The currently lead the league in terms of goals and Asamoah’s inclusion will certainly add to this. Bechem United have acquired new signings themselves and former Liberty defender, Alfred Nelson believes a new Bechem will be seen in the second round. “We are in the right direction. This second round will be fun and I will not be surprised if we find ourselves in the top four. I think it is possible. We play Aduana and we are going to go all out. Everybody is going to see that Bechem is a new Bechem.”

Total matches played     –    7
Bechem Utd wins            –    2

Goals scored                    –   8
Aduana Stars  wins         –     3
Goals scored                    –   10
Drawn games                   –   2

DWARFS VS LIBERTY

Fellow semifinalists Liberty Professionals travel to Cape Coast to face a rejuvenated Dwarfs side who are unbeaten in won. Liberty are hoping the return of Kennedy Ashia will be the catalyst for their first league triumph in their 20th year. “We are ready. I have got everything to make us ready. My midfielders, Kennedy Ashia attached to Latif Blessing, it will show so many signs. Kennedy Ashia likes scoring goals, his inclusion with Latif Blessing will help us and relieve pressure off Latif,” coach Lamptey asked. The first round game ended 1-1 in Dansoman.

NEW EDUBIASE VS MEDEAMA

Medeama will be aiming to make it five straight wins when they play as guests to troubled New Edubiase. Medeama come off the back of a defeat away to TP Mazembe and will be using the game as a dress rehearsal for their second game against MO Bejaia. Kwesi Donsu has been in sensational form scoring in his last three league games.  Edubiase have lost their last five games including two at home. But should they harbor any hopes of remaining in the league, then these games are home are those they should target.

INTER ALLIES VS HASAACAS

Hasaaccas travel to Tema to face Inter Allies. The first round game ended in a 1-1 draw but Jimmy Cobblah’s side start as favourites in their backyard. The Tema side have the full complement of the squad since there is no national team assignment at the moment. This means Isaac Twum and Evans Mensah will join Fredrick Mensah who has been the most prolific striker for the Tema side.

Total matches played      –     5
Inter-Allies wins                –     2
Goals scored                     –     6
Hasaacas wins                 –     2
Goals scored                     –     4
Drawn game                      –     1

WAFA VS ASHANTIGOLD

In Sogakope, WAFA begin life without coach John Killa and striker Samuel Tetteh with a home game against draw specialists and reigning league champions Ashantigold. The Miners missed a second half penalty in the first round fixture between both sides and will be aiming to make amenfds. Ashgold have drawn ten games in 15 matches. They will however be delighted to pick a point at the home of the academy side who are unbeaten in their backyard.

Total matches played          –    7
AshGold wins                       –    5
Goals scored                        –      9
Goals conceded                   –    2

Drawn games                       –     2

Match facts and head to head stats provided by Isaac Amponsah and Bright Taylor

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