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19.11.2008 Football News

Kotoko open up against Faisal

By The Statesman

Champions Asante Kotoko will begin their Premier League title defence at the Baba Yara Stadium to King Faisal on November 23.

The game would light up the league as it is the season's first derby with both sides meeting on match-day-1 of the new league campaign.

The fixture pile has the biggest game of the calendar slated for the weekend of January 25, 2009.

That would be the first clash of the heavyweights with Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak set to do battle on match-day-9 at the Baba Yara Stadium.

With Bashiru Hayford going through the exit door at Kotoko after leading them to the title last season, Belgian coach Maurice Cooreman will have the task of opening the Porcupine Warriors" Onetouch Premier League title defence.

The Porcupine Warriors take on AshantiGold after their opening game, make a stop at Sekondi to face Hasaacas and play Liberty Professionals at home, all packed into their first four games.

Cooreman's side close their first round campaign with a game at home to Gamba All Blacks on March 8.

New Hearts of Oak coach Kosta Papic starts with an away game at the El-Wak Stadium against debutants, Sporting Mirren.

Berekum Chelsea, also making their league debut would be away to Liberty Professionals at the Ohene Djan Stadium while Eleven Wise, after over a decade's absence from the topflight league start off their campaign against Kessben FC at Abrankese.

Heart of Lions would play away to Berekum Arsenal; All Blacks would host Tema Youth at the Robert Mensah Stadium with Hasaacas taking on All Stars.

AshantiGold, after its takeover, welcome Real Tamale United to their Len Clay Stadium grounds.

Meanwhile, Liberty Professionals would use the Ohene Djan Stadium to host their Premier League games instead of their Carl Reindorf grounds in Dansoman.

The Premier League Board has approved the switch by the Dansoman-based side as they co-share the 40,000 capacity stadium in Accra with city rivals, Hearts of Oak this season.

On-going renovation works at the Carl Reindorf grounds means Liberty would use the Ohene Djan Stadium as their new home turf, a ground which they used three seasons ago to host their home matches.