Kotoko-Hearts: All set for Ghana Premier League Super Clash

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Goal Ghana
The 'big boys' are set for a thriller in Kumasi in week 10 of the local topflight

As Asante Kotoko host Hearts of Oak on matchday 10 of the Ghana Premier League on Sunday, there will be three points, pride, bragging rights and many more to play for. 

The two sides - Ghana's two most successful clubs - are set to renew their rivalry at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, their 107th clash since 1958.

But how are both teams faring coming into the game?

It remains to be seen if Hearts will have head coach Henry Wellington in the dugout, having been away on sick leave in the last two games. 

His absence has only added more to what has been a disappointing campaign thus far. 

After matchday nine, the Phobians have won three games, drawn two and lost the other four. 

The Phobians seem to have been affected by the late sacking of coach Frank Nuttall just a month to kick-off.

They have also struggled to replace the likes of Thomas Abbey, Kwame Kizito and Vincent Atingah, all who played crucial roles last season. 

Midfield talisman Winful Cobbinah has failed to impact games too - as many will want him to while youngsters Selassie Bakai and Joseph Esso are finding the expectations of leading the attack too huge. 

If Hearts are to come up tops on Sunday, Cobbinah will have to show up, alongside winger Patrick Razak who is turning out to be a perpetual thorn in the flesh of the Porcupine Warriors.

The Super Clash, like most football rivalries, has never been impacted by form. 

This should be good news for Hearts, as are the statistics. 

Of the 106 games played, the Phobians have emerged victorious on 35 occasions, two more than Kotoko, with 38 ending in draws. 

Even more refreshing, of 49 games in Kumasi, the Accra-based outfit have won 18, one more than the Porcupine Warriors, while 14 ended in stalemates.

The closeness of the stats, however, shows that the Super Clash is definitely not one-sided, although Kotoko's winning of just one game in their last 10 home meetings with the Phobians seems to paint a different picture. 

While the stats favour Hearts, Kotoko will be counting on their relatively better form to steer them to victory. 

The 23-time champions currently sit fourth on the table with four wins, two draws and three defeats. 

Unlike Hearts, who have not won three points in any of their last three matches, Kotoko come into the Super Clash high on confidence following a 2-1 away triumph against 2015-16 champions Wa All Stars.

Their disappointing season so far, per their own lofty standards, has put coach Paa Kwasi Fabin under a lot of pressure.

But is there a better opportunity to calm the storm than a win over Hearts? 

To chalk that victory, Fabin will require his misfiring strikers to take their chances, which has been a major concern for the team this campaign. 

Sadick Adams, who hit a hat-trick in last season's FA Cup final against the Phobians, will be missing due to injury. 

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The likes Frederick Boateng, Obed Owusu and Yakubu Mohammed have a huge task ahead. 

  

 

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