GPL Week 11 Preview: Kotoko, Hearts target big scalps in regional derbies

The match-day 11 of the Ghana Premier League (GPL) takes center stage in the coming weekend with some uncompromising duels across the nine centres.

The week 11 has been dubbed regional derbies, would see the regional rivals in each region competing for honours, bragging rights and the three maximum points at stake.

On Friday at the Nana Gyeabour Park in Bechem, Bechem United would lock horns with Eleven Wonders in the Bono-Ahafo derby.

The Bechem boys would be looking to get back to winning ways having lost two and drawn twice in their last four matches.

The last defeat against Elmina Sharks was a painful one as Ishmael Hammond produced last minute gasp from the penalty spot to deny them a point at the Ndoum Sports Stadium.

Eleven Wonders on the other hand are yet to pick an away win this season having lost twice and drawn three of their five away matches so far this season. Bechem United would go into the clash with the odds in their favour and a win for them could get them into the top four as they currently sixth in the table with 16 points.

One of the top liners of match-day 11 is on Saturday as Accra Hearts of Oak take on the Wonder Club, Accra Great Olympics in the “Mantse” derby.

This fixture is very crucial for the future of both clubs as they are currently separated by a point with Hearts on 16 points and are placed second with Olympics on 15 points and currently on seventh.

Hearts have not lost a match since coach Kosta Costa Papic took charge of the team and are among the top scorers in the league with 16 goals. Great Olympics on the other hand have been a delight to watch this season especially with the talisman Gladson Awako who bagged the Player of the Month award for December.

Hearts have been boosted with the return of Umar Manaf who missed their last clash against Berekum Chelsea due to yellow accumulation.

King Faisal would take on Berekum Chelsea in other fixture on Saturday with the “Insha Allah” Boys targeting their second win of the season as they currently rock bottom of the league with seven points.

Then comes the big clash on Sunday, Asante Kotoko taking on Ashantigold at the Obuasi Len Clay Sports Stadium.

Kotoko have won this fixture 10 times out of 25 meetings with the Elephants recording nine wins with six draws in the process. Kotoko would be looking to bounce back from their catastrophic loss against Aduana Stars in their last outing at the Accra Sports Stadium.

What makes this clash more crucial is that, both teams are currently on 16 points and a win for either side could take them top of the league.

There is also a matter of a “small’ Accra derby on Sunday as Inter Allies face off against rejuvenated Legon Cities.

Both teams are currently in the relegation zone with both looking for their third win of the season.

Legon Cities would be confident going into the clash after their 5-2 thumping of Ashantigold in match-day 10 and could be boosted with the return of their star striker, Asamoah Gyan who has been sidelined due to injury.

League leaders Karela would also lock horns with the regional rivals Medeama SC at the Crosby Awuah Memorial Park in Nzema.

Karela United have a perfect home record having five wins scoring 12 goals on home turf and expected to continue their excellent record especially with counterparts not being that good on the road having only won once away so far this season.

Full fixture list of match-day 11:

Bechem: Bechem United vs Eleven Wonders

Techiman: King Faisal vs Berekum Chelsea

Accra: Hearts of Oak vs Great Olympics

Accra: Inter Allies vs Legon Cities

Sogakope: WAFA vs Liberty Professionals

Obuasi: Ashanti Gold vs Asante Kotoko

Elmina: Elmina Sharks vs Dreams

Dormaa: Aduana Stars vs Ebusua Dwarfs

Anyinasi: Karela vs Medeama