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20.03.2009 Football News

Dicey derbies…As Hearts, Kotoko face local rivals

By Kofi Owusu Aduonum - Ghanaian Chronicle

Premiership heavyweights Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko face crunchy ties in their respective assignments against Liberty Professionals and Kessben FC this Sunday.

Hearts of Oak return to their Ohene Djan base to face Liberty, a side that pummelled Hasaacas 2-0 on Wednesday, and flying on the wings of that victory coupled with Hearts' quest to consolidate their lead, is what makes the game a dicey one.

Just like Kotoko, who would be playing against their former coach, Bashir Hayford, at Abrankesse, Hearts will battle their former technical brain Sir Cecil Jones Attuquayefio in Accra, in a game expected to ignite fireworks.

Certainly, the circumstances that led to coach 'Bash' exit from Kotoko seem to have incensed the burly trainer to prove a point in the local 'derby' with his former employers.

Kotoko has grown in confidence, having scored six goals in two games, against Ittihad Khemisset of Morocco in the Africa Champions League and against Arsenals at the Baba Yara Stadium in their Glo premier league midweek clash. For Coach Opeele Boateng and charges, the game offers a good opportunity to fine tune the team ahead of their Champions League second leg in Morocco, and indications are that coach Opeele is equally challenged to prove a point. Other games will see Sekondi Eleven Wise go to the 'Lions den' at Kpando in another expected uncompromising clash, while badly wounded Arsenals welcome seventh-placed Tema Youth to the Berekum Golden City Park.

All Blacks, placed 14th on the league standings will be the host of RTU, with fifth and sixth-placed King Faisal and All Stars battling for supremacy at the Baba Yara Stadium.

Struggling Ashgold will host Bechem Chelsea at Len Clay, with SP Mirren trekking to the Essipong Stadium to play against Hassacas.