By Kwabena ‘Onike’ Boateng
There is a Ghanaian proverb that literally means, ‘Those who swim earliest are the first to get red eyes’. This adage could be spurring teams in the Ghana Premier league on as all teams prepare to end the first round on a good note to give an indication of their intent for the second half of the campaign.
With matches coming on at all the eight league centres, it will be a delight to see how each team carries their set objectives considering the close points margin between clubs which makes any point vital to all teams. The weekend action starts on Saturday with Medeama who were humbled last weekend in Kumasi looking to restore their Top 4 hopes against strugglers, Inter Allies. Inter Allies have had a rough debut season and if they are to survive, they will need to be chasing a rare win at Tarkwa.
At Obuasi, Ashgold return to their fortress where they are yet to lose this season and play host to Berekum FC. The miners are bent on a return to Africa and Coach Bashiru Hayford knows a win could put them in second spot and will set his lads on that mission. In Berekum FC, they face a side desperate to shake off a poor run in the first half and the match will definitely produce interesting action. A win albeit slim may be on the cards for the ‘Aboakese’ boys.
King Faisal could purge themselves of relegation nightmares when they meet Bechem United on Sunday at Baba Yara Stadium. Carlos Paullette will be under massive pressure knowing that any slip will result in a dismissal especially as the fans grow impatient.Bechem has been tricky when they play away and knowing a draw could as well put them in the upper rungs of the league, the Brong Ahafo side will be all out to secure it.
At Tema, Amidaus came out as derby day winners last weekend and need to go a step further as they meet Hasaacas. A win for each of the sides will be a reward in the upper echelons of the league too and Amidaus are favourites to make their home advantage count but should be wary of the giants from the West who have already ‘stolen’ points on the road notably at Kpando this season already.
Aduana Stars look poised to cement a mid-table placing as the league recess when they host New Edubiase at Dormaa Park. Miroslav Bogadnovic’s team put an impressive show against last week and coupled with Edubiase’s poor display away this first half, win is strongly on the cards for Dormaa.
Fans at the Accra Stadium will be in for a treat when Liberty host Hearts of Lions. The match will parade a mixture of veterans and youth alike and with players like Michael Appiah featuring for Liberty, Mozart Adjetey, Sam Yeboah and Edmund Owusu Ansah all appearing for Lions spectators are bound to have their money worth. Liberty have dropped points at home this season and Lions who possess the best away record after the traditional league giants may well record their 4th win away this season.
A string of bad results have seen Wa All Stars lurched at the bottom of the league. Their fans are seething after last weekend’s loss to Hearts of Lions and the scalp of a bigger ‘Hearts’ will be their only appeasement. As to whether they will get, will be a tale of 90 minutes when Hearts trek to Wa to maintain their chase. Coach Polo is in a peculiar position where a slip will mean a surrender of the chase to bitter rivals Kotoko. The fans will be there in numbers and Ashittey Ollenu, Winful Cobbinah , Fiamenyo and Abanga cannot afford to slip.
Dwarfs have been given a glorious opportunity to rise above the relegation zone with a last home match for the first round. This opportunity however comes in the threat of a the highest scoring side of the league so far in leaders Kotoko. Dwarfs may draw inspiration from Kotoko’s capitulation at some away games this season but their failure will see a destruction from the Red Army. Coach Dramani is carving a niche for himself and a good results could only further endear him to his fans as they target their third consecutive title. What a game to expect at Robert Mensah Stadium on Sunday.
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