Mon. Jun 24th, 2024
hearts of oak players

Two traditional rivals, Accra Hearts of Oak and Accra Great Olympics, will lock horns at the Accra Sports Stadium on June 9 in a high-stakes Ghana Premier League encounter, as both sides seek crucial points to boost their chances of surviving relegation in the penultimate match of the season.

With both sides teetering on the brink of relegation, this penultimate match of the season promises to be a thrilling and crucial showdown.

The Accra derby, also known as the Ga Mantse (Kings of the Capital) derby, is one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures on the football calendar. However, tomorrow’s clash carries even greater significance as both teams are teetering on the brink of relegation and desperate to avoid the drop.

Hearts of oak currently sit in 13th place, while Olympics are in 15th, making this match pivotal for their survival hopes as the outcome has the potential to plunge one of the teams deep into the relegation zone.

Despite a lacklustre season for both teams, the importance of this match ensures it will be fiercely contested. Their first-round meeting at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi ended in a goalless draw, and the Wonder Club has had the upper hand in recent encounters, winning four of the last seven league matches.

Hearts’ last league victory over their city rivals dates back to 11 March 2020, when the Phobians annihilated the ‘Dade’ lads 4-0 in Accra.

The Phobians have struggled with inconsistency, a key factor in their disappointing season. Just one point ahead of 15th-placed Karela United, Hearts of Oak Coach Aboubacar Otattara and his players know that any slip-up could be disastrous. The Ivorian gaffer will be without Ugandan star, Glid Otanga, who is on international duty, but still has a strong line-up with players like Linda Mtange, Salifu Ibrahim, Hamzah Isaah, Martin Kakari, Seidu Suraj, Denis Korsah, and Enoch Asubonteng.

Olympics, under coach Jimmy Cobblah, will look to veteran midfielder Gladson Awako for inspiration. Awako, who returned to Olympics from Hearts this season, will be key alongside Samuel Abbey Quaye, Abednego Asafo, Prince Afrifa, Emmanuel Akesseh, Ibrahim Shaibu, and Osman Zakaria as they aim to secure valuable points in their fight for survival.

In the broader context of the relegation battle, RTU and Bofoakwa appear destined for relegation, while clubs like Karela United (40 points, 16th), Kpando Heart of Lions (41 points, 14th), Dreams FC (42 points, 12th) and Bibiani GoldStars (43 points, 11th) are still not safe.

Karela must find the right motivation and winning form to defeat uncrowned league champions FC Samartex 1996 when the two sides clash at the Naa Sheriga Sports Complex, Tamale, while fourth-placed Nations FC are tipped to hand Bechem United a third straight away loss in today’s encounter at the Kwame Kyei Sports Complex, Abrankese.

Hearts of Lions, unbeaten in their last five matches, are tipped to record their third straight home victory when they host tenth-placed Legon Cities at the Kpando Sports Stadium, while Bofoakwa Tano will play for pride when they host Berekum Chelsea in a regional derby at the Sunyani Coronation Park.

At the Dun’s Park, Gold Stars are favourites to beat visiting Medeama SC, while third-placed Aduana FC welcome Nsoatreman FC to the Nana Agyemang Badu Park, Dormaa-Ahenkro.

Source: graphic online

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