Kosta Papic - Hearts Coach Even before the biggest game of the season comes off on Sunday, the mind-games that normally characterize the “El Classico” of Ghana football has begun in earnest.
Kotoko and Hearts, the two most glamorous clubs in the country have begun firing at each other indicating their intentions of carrying the day.
Matches between these two sides could be equaled to that of Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain and on the continent, the Cairo derby involving Zamalek and El Ahly.
Hearts coach, Kostadinov Papic has indicated his readiness to win the game in order to consolidate his team's lead at the apex of the Glo Premier League.
“I am working on the team's tactics so as to present a formidable side for Sunday's clash,” he explained.
The most traveled coach who has been in Nigeria before, coaching Lobi Stars, and South Africa where he guided Kaizer Chiefs in the SPL, is confident his side will annex the three points. “My main objective is to collect the maximum points at stake to consolidate my leadership”.
On the other hand, Maurice Cooreman, coach of Asante Kotoko has been on the quiet, preferring to take his charges through some technical rudiments that would enable his team win the day.
Some fans of the Porcupine Warriors have chastised his tactical ability but last two weeks, the massive win against R.T.U in Kumasi has boosted the morale of the team to go all out and beat Hearts in Kumasi. The hard-talking assistant coach Opeele Boateng who joined the team recently is also expected to bring his technical ingenuity to bear on Sunday.
Players of both sides have also promised their respective teeming supporters that they would carry the day.
While defender Samuel Inkoom and Stephen Manu, popularly called B.A have expressed confidence in winning the day, Hearts' leading goal scorer Obed Ansah and skipper Kwabena Boafo have also promised to annex the maximum points.
In what is uncharacteristic of Accra, radio stations have also begun hyping the big game even though the match would be played in Kumasi. From morning till evening, all sports programmes that take place during the day have been dedicated to the Kotoko/Hearts big game.
The last time the two sides met in Kumasi, the match ended 3-3, while the last time Kotoko beat Hearts in Kumasi was in 2006 (3-1).
By Charles Nixon Yeboah