Asante Kotoko will welcome Al Hilal to the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Sunday for the second leg of their CAF Confederation Cup, with the first leg ending 1-0 in favor of the visitors.
C.K Akonno's side returned to winning ways last weekend with a resounding 3-0 success over Nkana FC, but currently sit second in Group C with six points, a mark less than Al Hilal Omdurman ahead of the penultimate round of action.
As a result, the Confederation Cup is certainly the club's best chance of putting smiles of its faithful this season as the football activities in the country has been halted since June 2018 and they will be desperate to edge past The Blue Waves in the second leg.
Asante Kotoko Team News:
Out: Maxwell Baakoh, Emmanuel Gyamfi
Asante Kotoko will have their inspirational captain Amos Frimpong back after the defender missed the win over Nkana on Sunday through suspension.
24-year-old Richard Senanu will be available following an injury he sustained in Kotoko's win over Zesco United and is expected to make the cut in Akonnor starting XI.
Daniel Darkwah who returned to the team last weekend following his injury return is battling Amos Frimpong for the left back spot alongside Abdul Ganiyu but it seems likely that Emmanuel Agyemang Badu will come back into the team for the match.
Augustine Sefah will be retaining his position at right back. Wingers, Emmanuel Gyamfi and Maxwell Baakoh are out due to injury.
Possible Kotoko starting XI: Annan, Frimpong (c), Sefah, Agyemang-Badu, Ganiyu, Bonsu, Boahene, Senanu, Yacouba, Safiu, Antwi
Al Hilal Omdurman
Out: Idris Mbombo, Samawal Merghani Noureldin Elyas.
Al Hilal will be without their talisman Mbombo for this encounter.
The good news for the visitors is that they have a full house to pick from for their final 18 players after Nigerian defender Emmanuel Arikwachukwu returned to the squad following cards accumulation.
Captain Abdel Latif Saeed Osman Ismaeil is also fit to start the game and has assured the supporters of a victory and a goal from him.
New coach Nabil Kouki believes they can cause an upset on Sunday in order to make life much difficult for the Porcupines in the series.
Possible Al Hilal starting XI: Jamal Salim, Samawal, Ariwachuku, Boya, Abdullah, Diarra, Shigel, Shiboub, Mukhtar, Maranhao, Waleed Bakhiet
Asante Kotoko comes into the match placed second on the log with six points, having recorded two wins and two defeats from their four matches.
The Porcupine Warriors powered back into quarterfinal contention last weekend when they thumped Zambia’s Nkana 3-0 in Kumasi, with goals from Fatawu Safiu, Emmanuel Gyamfi, and Martin Antwi.
The Sudanese visitors top the Group C table with seven points (two wins, one draw, and one defeat) and last week they overpowered another Zambian side, Zesco United, 3-1 in Omdurman. Mohamed Eldai, Waleed Hamid and Abdellatif Boya netted for the ‘Blue Wave’.
Kotoko can assume group leadership if they win, but potential qualification for the last eight will have to wait until the final Matchday.
Al Hilal, on the other hand, can secure a quarterfinal spot if they win in Kumasi, regardless of the result in the other Group C match, which is a Zambian derby between Nkana and Zesco played simultaneously in Kitwe.
Hilal defeated Kotoko 1-0 when the teams met in Omdurman in Matchday 1 back in early February, with Waleed Hamid scoring the vital goal.
Al Hilal, who appear to be brimming with confidence ahead of the clash, were in the same group with Kotoko in the maiden edition of the CAF Confederation Cup in 2004. Hilal defeated Kotoko 2-0 at home only to lose 3-0 in the reverse fixture in Kumasi.
Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa will take charge of the game in Kumasi on Sunday.
Elsewhere in Zambia, Nkana will host local rivals Zesco United in Group C's other game also on Sunday in Kitwe.
The game will be shown live on TV on GTV Sports+ in Ghana, Super Sports 9 and BeIN sports 3.
Asante Kotoko vs Al Hilal Omdurman
Venue: Baba Yara Sports Stadium