28 May

Hearts of Oak vs Liberty Professionals: How Liberty can fish themselves out of the first round annihilation against Hearts of Oak

The most in-form team thus far in the league in the last eight matches has, undoubtedly, been Accra Hearts of Oak. They host Dansoman Liberty Professionals at the Accra Sports Stadium this afternoon in their first match of the reversed encounters to finish off the season.
Accra Hearts of Oak, in this regional derby, will be oozing so much confident and will be boasted with an unsatiable morale heading towards this game against Liberty Professionals as they have found the lost "Phobian Glory" with eight matches without a lost which became rare for the club in recent times.
Accra Hearts of Oak were on demolition campaign some fortnight ago in Dansoman were they broke the unbeaten round of Liberty Professionals at home this season with a mammoth three nil victory and will be ahead mentality to give back a similar result this afternoon in Accra.
The "Rainbow" side displayed superb football during the first round break in their FA Cup game against Kotoku Royal where they thrashed them by four goals to nil to convince all and sundry that the club is ready to return back to where they belong in Ghana football.
They arrival of Frank Nuttall as the coach of the team was late but seems to be timely for the club as he has driven Hearts of Oak to a level next to par excellence with their consistent approach to games this season which was lost after the 2009/10 season.
The second round of the league will show if Hearts of Oak can keep the byte and performance they displayed in the latter end of the first round which starts against Liberty Professionals this afternoon in Accra.
Patrick Razak who has seen much playing time this season and has been the focal figure under Frank Nuttall will be available for the side this afternoon together with captain and leading scorer, Thomas Abbey and Fatawu Mohammed who were called to be part of the Black Stars team 'B' squad that drew 1-1 with Benin last week.
Malik Akowuah who came to the club this season from Medeama is like to make his first start for the club after his injury this afternoon against Liberty Professionals whilst Ruben Gnagne and Musah are all fit for this game.
The club is in a pole position to contest for the league trophy this season if they can keep their consistency for the rest of the fifteen games and without any managerial indecision like we witnessed last season under Kenich Yatsuashi as they have already amassed twenty-six points on the third position trailing behind WAFA and Aduana Stars on first and second respectively.
As relegation stared them last season, this season's relegation battle has not left Liberty Professionals again to challenge for as they are just above the relegation line with seventeen points after fifteen games in the first round.
Relatively playing the entire first round without a substantive coach, Liberty Professionals have struggled to make any positive amends on the road to get them a ditch of battling it out for survival.
With former Kumasi Asante Kotoko head coach, Michael Osei, taking over as the club's substantive head coach, Liberty Professionals should be able to gather all the momentum and zeal to get Accra Hearts of Oak on their toes this afternoon by getting a good result.
Samuel Sarfo should lead and inspire the team to victory as the leading top scorer for the side as he partners Mubarik Yussif at the back who has been a revelation for the side this season.
Liberty Professionals should not be seen below the "red line" after the season. This can only be achieved by beating Hearts of Oak this afternoon which can push them up to at least eighth on the table.
Accra Hearts of Oak will keep their resounding record against Liberty Professionals running if they are able to win this game whilst Liberty will tent to reduce the deficit of their defeats in the folds of Hearts of Oak by winning, willy-nilly.
By: Lateef Abdul Sadick
Follow me on twitter @LateefKickgh


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