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10.07.2005 Sports News

Faisal, Liberty Face The Gaints

By Graphic
Faisal, Liberty Face The Gaints

coach Sanzio Bahner To Face Old Club Two tough matches scheduled for Accra and Kumasi today could well produce another round of changes at the top of the premiership football standings. But in spite of Asante Kotoko's big date against Liberty Professionals in Kumasi, it is Hearts coach, Sanzio Bahner, who remains in the centre of the weekend's games as he leads his new club in an emotional encounter against his former club, King Faisal, in Accra. Bahner coached Faisal for a period during the last season but was fired, according to the club, for non-performance in a manner that attracted his fury.

Sunday as he faces the side that has become his nemesis, the German trainer is armed with nothing but his own brains and the physical condition of players at his disposal.

Twice, his tools (players) have failed to deliver in the manner they worked under other coaches, and after successive defeats to Kotoko and RTU in three days, his nightmares may have started already, while the standard set by his compatriot, Ernst Middendorp, appears too high for anybody else.

The experience is, however, not new to him. On his entry to the Faisal job last year, the club slumped to two similar quick defeats before clawing back to their second place in Zone A of the special league.

Under his command, Hearts have failed to score in two successive defeats, both by 1-0 margin, although striker Prince Tagoe had maintained a consistent scoring form in previous matches.

But he enters Sunday's game on the strength of his knowldge of the team he guided last season.

Eric Gawu and Abubakar Yahuza's striking proficiency is well known to him, while the forward surging of defenders Illiasu Alhassan and Habib Mohammed, in particular, should inform his strategy for the game.

With a team that has limited striking options, his dismissal of Ablade Morgan, alongside defender Dan Oppong and midfielder James Boateng for disciplinary reasons, can only worsen his scoring chances, for which reason he can only rely on Bernard Dong Bortey and the high workrate of Adjah Tetteh and Anthony Annan for the clash.

In the reversal of the clash, Liberty go to Kumasi with their high-scoring form, but against one of the most difficult sides that they have encountered in their six-year experience in the premiership.

Tied on points at the top with Hearts, Kotoko's hopes of keeping pace appear enhanced by the wide pool of scorers that line their team.

At Swedru, Club of The Week, Feyenoord, welcome Hasaacas, while Hotspurs host RTU at Kade. Power FC will be at their Tema base to Arsenals, while Okwawu stay at Nkawkaw to Dwarfs.

Real Sportive travel to Sunyani to play Bofoakwa.