Konadu, Ackunnor the men to watch in Ghana's El-classico
4/13/2012 1:00:36 PM -
Ghana's version of the El Classico is on Sunday with a lot more to play for than just bragging rights.
Hearts, second on the league log are desperate for maximum points to close the ten point gap on the Porcupine Warriors who are league leaders but the Warriors have little options but to consolidate their position.
Sunday's epic clash between Ghana's finest bitter rivals is, in many significant respects, different from the ones we have had in the past.
We have two former Black Stars players as coaches leading their charges in a game in which the final result will be just as important as the quality of play.
Maxwell Konadu has already won over a hugely critical but passionate Kotoko faithful with some fine results and the 2011-12 Glo premier league trophy looking well within reach.
His other number, and former Black Stars skipper CK Akunnor is yet to do same with an equally critical Hearts fans. After tasting defeat in his first game which was a desperate derby against Liberty professionals, Ackunnor bounced back with two crucial victories. But all that will mean nothing if the phobians falter against their bitter rivals in an away fixture in Kumasi- a venue they consider home.
And for Hearts fans they have just one more reason to go to the Baba Yara Stadium- Laryea Kingston.
The former Black Stars midfielder is no stranger at all to Hearts-Kotoko clashes and after a relatively successful career in Europe which took him to Russia, Israel, Scotland the former Great Olympics star is back starring in yet another Ghana el-classico.
Kingston's skill and experience will be crucial in Sunday's game but with age catching up on him it remains to be seen how he will fare against the mercurial Daniel Nii Adjei who is stronger and faster in midfield.
It is usually said that games such as this has no form guide but I am convinced that the team with a current form always starts as favorite.
Kotoko has been on cloud nine this season and look more likely to carry the day but with Kingston still in his free-kick business the phobians cannot be written off entirely.
Again, the phobians have been comfortable playing in Kumasi than before their fans in Accra and it remains to be seen how they fare against a delightful Kotoko side.