BUDU's CORNER: 3 Things To Watch Out For As Hearts Look To Maintain Form vs Kotoko Featured
25 Jan

BUDU's CORNER: 3 Things To Watch Out For As Hearts Look To Maintain Form vs Kotoko

The Accra Sports stadium plays host to Asante Kotoko’s week six league game against Hearts of Oak. With the stadium expected to be filled to capacity, a lively atmosphere is assured, and how the Porcupine Warriors start this game will have a bearing on how long that will continue.
 
 
The carrot for Edward Odoom’s men is to continue their resurgence and break the Kotoko jinx since they are winless in the clubs’ last five meetings, but over confidence can get the better of them as was the case when they played against Berekum Chelsea on match day one.
 
It promises to be a fascinating encounter at the Accra Sports stadium, and with that in mind, we have selected three things to watch out for in the clash on Sunday afternoon.
 
Gyamfi’s pace, Blay’s poise
 
Hearts’ back four will have their hands full if they don’t manage to contain this pair. Justice Blay has been grabbing all the headlines since his arrival at the club. From a central position, he is able to dictate the pattern and pace of play for the Porcupine Warriors, and Emmanuel Gyamfi will likely be one of the main beneficiaries of his passing. The winger has lost none of his lightning quick pace, and as we’ve already seen in this season, he’s got an eye for goal.
 
Blay will look the play balls in the channel between Robert Addo and Raddy Ovouka to see if they can beat the pacey Gyamfi in a foot race. It’ll be one of the more interesting battles in the game.
 
Abednego Tetteh and Opoku Mensah’s competitive debut
 
Both Hearts and Kotoko have strengthened the depth of their teams with the acquisition of top strikers who will be making their competitive debut on Sunday.
 
The Phobians are likely to introduce Abednego Tetteh in the course of the game. The former Bechem United forward is making a return to the Ghanaian league after sojourns in Sudan and India.
 
Kotoko on the other hand will unveil another returnee in the person of William Opoku Mensah.
 
Having previously played for Karela FC before seeking greener pastures in the USA, the poacher was superb for the Porcupine Warriors, scoring a brace in a friendly against lower tier side Kumawuman on Tuesday.
 
What a test it promises to be for the two forwards who will be making their competitive debut in such a crunch game- a game that makes and unmakes footballers. One can only wish them well!
 
Kotoko’s left-sided weakness
 
Kotoko have experimented with Patrick Yeboah and Imoro Ibrahim at the left side of their defence with the latter getting the nod in recent games. Ibrahim is a good lad but is easily exposed when he comes up against more exuberant opponents as was the case in the Medeama game.
 
Hearts need to get the ball down Kotoko’s left-side as often as possible and when Ibrahim has possession, pressure him incessantly. If Fatawu Mohammed can get at him, supported by Joseph Esso, there’s every reason to believe Hearts can benefit.
 
Emmanuel Agyemang Badu won’t want to be dragged over from his centre-back position because it will allow Kofi Kordzi to take advantage of the space in behind.
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