WAFA vs Kotoko: Three Things To Look Out For as WAFA host Kotoko Featured
04 Feb

WAFA vs Kotoko: Three Things To Look Out For as WAFA host Kotoko

WAFA host Asante Kotoko SC on Wednesday at the Red Bull Arena in game that is sure to be a sombre occasion for both sets of players and supporters. The Academy lads head into the game on the back of 1-0 win over Olympics last weekend, while Asante Kotoko were held to a drawn game by Liberty Professionals.  
So while the fixture generator hasn’t been kind to Konadu’s charges, they will see WAFA as a potential opportunity to bounce back and send a strong signal to their competitors.
Both clubs require the victory for different reasons, though a result means the same to each set of fans.
And with plenty of gripping sub-plots to look forward to for the neutral spectator, the game promises to be very important, controversial and tumultuous for both clubs.
Let’s take a look at three things that could affect the outcome of this one…
Annan or Baah?
Its crunch time for Maxwell Konadu and the questions is who will be his No.1?
Kwame Baah was brought in ostensibly to provide a healthy competition in the position; the netminder has delivered anytime he is given the opportunity to man the post for the Kumasi club.
He was given the responsibility of standing between the sticks in the Porcupine Warriors last three games against Dwarfs, Hearts of Oak and Liberty Professionals.
However, the coach is likely to keep him on the sidelines when they meet WAFA on Sunday and continue with Annan in this one.
 The club’s goalkeepers’ trainer has said he doesn’t see the debate as an issue or a problem, and he doesn’t expect his keepers to be unduly concerned if they miss out either.
Kotoko to strike the right balance between attack and defence
The simple truth is that Hearts do not have high-quality options in defence, and so many attacking options have to be balanced by ensuring that their back-line is adequately protected.
That was behind the self- destructive decision to field two primarily defensive midfielders against Liberty Professionals; in that game, a high press provided a solid solution for the opening –half or so, but the intensity dropped, Liberty Professionals started to play around it and at a defensive unit unable to offer sufficient resistance.
WAFA are a counter attacking side and so Kotoko will need to play a cautious game. The Academy boys have the necessary pace and quality on the break to cause Kotoko problems, as made evident in their previous encounters.
Kotoko need goals, but they cannot afford to concede too much in pursuit of them. Funding the right equilibrium will be key.
Despite a gloomy feeling around the place, a win will lift spirits, however, should Kotoko fail in getting a win, the Ghanaian inquisition will start earlier than expected.
Opoku Mensah’s credentials to be tested
In Songne Yacouba’s absence, the Porcupine Warriors now relies on William Opoku Mensah to give them the goals. He didn’t disappoint when Kotoko played Liberty Professionals by scoring on the day.
The former Karela FC forward who joined Asante Kotoko SC recently  is agile, has good technique and is comfortable playing anywhere across the frontline. 
He can hold his own alongside the toughest of centre-backs, but rather than his physique, his guile and intelligent positioning enable him to outwit defenders. His uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time means Opoku Mensah regularly finds scoring opportunities.
Known for his athleticism, fearlessness and bravery, he will have a resolute back four in front of him, so has no need to make any rash decisions in order to impress his paymasters.
WAFA’s centre-back pair of and must remain touch-tight, and try to ensure that their opponent has few touches as possible.
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