FCPPL Preview: Kotoko, Ashantigold to clash in Ashanti regional derby

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first_imgAshanti Region’s two most successful sides meet for their most pivotal clash in several years on Sunday with one competing for the league and the other battling relegation.Kumasi Asante Kotoko have failed woefully to defend their league title with abysmal performances all season recording only seven wins in twenty three matches but there will be no margin for error when they encounter their regional rivals.The Obuasi side themselves have seen their fantastic start to the season gone down the drain by an awful week which has seen them gain a single point out of a possible six cutting their once unassailable lead to only two points.The corresponding fixture ended 2-1 in favor of the Miners with the result proving to be the final in the coffin of Didi Dramani. Between the 11th of February and now, a lot has changed for both sides including the appointment of David Duncan as Kotoko coach, Kotoko defeating Ashantigold in the F.A cup and subsequently reaching the final as well as Ashantigold relinquishing a huge gap at the top of the league.But on Sunday, these events will count for nothing as the stage will be set for ninety minutes of intriguing soccer. Despite this, Kotoko’s shaky form cannot be disregarded in the build up to this game. Two games, two defeats, four goals conceded, none scored is simply unacceptable by Kotoko’s standard. This form has led to recently appointed deputy operations manager of Kotoko admitting Kotoko have problems in an interview with Asempa F.M.“There is something fighting against Kotoko in the league. If Kotoko play Asempa in the league, it is likely Kotoko will lose to Asempa,” Maradona said.“If we are playing in cup competitions, the situation is different. Something is really fighting Kotoko in the league.”Ali Maradona’s claims can be attested to the fact that Kotoko’s once feared home ground has now become a waterloo winning four out of a possible eleven matches.  Notwithstanding, dependable defener Amos Frimpong is hopeful Kotoko can right the wrongs this Sunday especially given the home advantage.“If you look at AshGold they have a very good side but remember we are playing in Kumasi and we will do everything to carry the three points at the end of 90 minutes. We have no problems at Baba Yara, any and everything can happen in football but we are hopeful for good things for our side,” Frimpong said.Ashantigold on the other hand have gone a little off the boil in the second round of the league. The Miners have amassed only eleven points in the second round of the season as compared to twenty-one in their first eight games of the first round.The pressure on Coach Bashir Hayford may have eased after Chelsea’s slip up in Bechem on Friday meant they will end matchday 24 still on top of the standings but he will be the first to admit a win will surely prove doubters wrong. After their barren game against New Edubiase in midweek, Coach Bash called for calm and tagged the doubters as having little faith.The Miners last visit to the Baba Yara Stadium ended with in defeat with playmaker Atta Kusi sent off. Ashantigold and Coach Bash will surely be looking to avoid any such happenings tomorrow.Kotoko Team News:Defenders Abeiku Ainooson, Small Boy Korbah and Ohene Brenya are out of this game with injury. Amos Frimpong and Ahmed Adams are expected to be the center back pairing while Ivorian topscorer Ahnmed Toure is expected to partner Dauda Mohammed up top. The pair have contributed 14 of Kotoko’s 26 goals in the season representing 53.8% of Kotoko’s goals.Ashantigold Team News:Bernard Morrison is a major doubt for this game after limping out of the Edubiase game in midweek. Leading striker Yakubu Mohammed is expected to lead the line ably supported by Ivorian Didier Kore. Captain Eric Opoku will be in midfield to provide the much needed energy and drive from midfield while center backs Awudu Nafiu and Mohammed Kadri marshall the backline.–Follow Kweku on Twitter: @ nana_odum. Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img

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