GPL Preview Photos:Kotoko clash with Hearts,players to watch,key battles and stats

By Mutala Yakubu
Kotoko to play Hearts tomorrow at the Baba Yara Stadium

Kumasi Asante Kotoko will play Accra Hearts of Oak on today at the Baba Yara Stadium in an outstanding Premier League.

The fixture was supposed to have been played three weeks ago but Kotoko was involved in an accident on the Nkawkaw road that left several injured and their deputy equipment officer passing on.

Kotoko has since not featured in any game and this clash on Sunday will be the first since their tragic accident.

The two Clubs have already met three times this season with Hearts winning two and Kotoko winning one which came in the President Cup.

The Porcupines would be bracing themselves for this game as it will be a welcome for them since the accident last three Weeks.


Key battles

Thomas Abbey vs. Amos Frimpong

This is going to be very interesting since two captains will be involved in a battle in Sunday's crunchy duel. Player of the month of July, Thomas Abbey is among the few players the spotlight is on this weekend.He scored four goals in three matches to win the monthly award. A lot will depend on the most influential person in the Hearts of Oak squad this time if they are to beat Asante Kotoko SC.

He has been involved in sixteen goals in the season with twelve goals and four assists to his credit.  It is very obvious the skipper of the Red family, Amos Frimpong will be tasked to deal with the threat of the winger on Sunday.

Eric Donkor vs. Patrick Razak

This battle promises to be another intriguing moment of the highly anticipated fixture on Sunday. Eric Donkor is not having the best of seasons due to his roller-coaster performances. If named in the starting lineup of Asante Kotoko SC, he will be the one to mark out speedster Patrick Razak which requires a step up in his recent performances.

Fans have lots of hope in him as they believe he is the man for the big and crucial moments in the game, Razak is a specialist winger with a good understanding of his position, quick feet and a work-rate to match. His second half appearance gave the Phobians a penalty in the MTN FA Cup through which they scored to progress to the semifinals last Sunday.

Winful Kwaku Cobbinah vs. Seth Opare

Another big figure in the Hearts of Oak and arguably one of the best players in the premier league this campaign is Winful. He comes with experience and a scintillating form ahead of the weekend's top clash. It is expected he will repeat his delightful displays against Asante Kotoko SC. Cobbinah was preserved last Sunday specifically for this match. He has seven assists so far and two goals, all of the goals were from free-kicks.

For Asante Kotoko SC to clinch victory on Sunday, this man must be overpowered in the midfield and the chap to do this job is Seth Opare. After apoor start to his stint at the Porcupines, the defensive midfielder has regained his form, winning most of the fans' heart. Some of the fans call him the "maestro" due to his recent performances.

Players to Watch

Name: Emmanuel Gyamfi

Club: Kumasi Asante Kotoko

Date of birth: December 16, 1994 (22)
Position: right/left winger

Height: 1.78m

Assist: 4 assists

Emmanuel Gyamfi is a speedy winger who is not afraid to take on defenders. His confidence on the ball and ability to beat his man as seen him as one of the best in the Premier League and he will be key for Kotoko tomorrow.


Name: Winful Kwaku Cobbinah

Date of birth: August 16, 1993(23years)

Height: 1.80m

Position: Attacking midfielder
Goals: 2goals

Assist: 7 Assists

Cobbinah known as the smooth operator by a section of the fans, his ability to link the midfield to the attack has been very crucial for Hearts. His dead ball ability is very visible as his two goals this season have all been from set pieces.


Name: Amos Frimpong

Club: Kumasi Asante Kotoko

Date of Birth: November 18, 1991(25years)

Position: Defender
Height: 1.71m
Goals: 1 goal

Assist: 1 Assist

Amos Frimpong is a right back who is also comfortable playing anywhere in defence. He is very strong in the air and joins the attack during set pieces. The Captain of the side and the first penalty taker as well. Amos will hope for all three points after a difficult period.


Vincent Atinga
Club: Accra Hearts of Oak

Position: Defender

Age: 27

Height: 1.80m

Goals: 5

Vincent Atinga will be one of the first names on the Hearts team sheet, a very reliable defender with a tremendous aerial ability. His physical nature is always a worry for strikers. He is a penalty expert who has converted all his kicks in the Premier League.


Total league meetings = 105

Asante Kotoko SC wins = 35

Hearts of Oak wins = 35

Drawn matches = 35

Asante Kotoko SC have lost only one of their last eight matches in the premier league. (W4 D3 L1)

Hearts of Oak have lost just three of their last fourteen fixtures in the premier league. They have two losses in their last four. (W8 D3 L3)

Asante Kotoko SC are unbeaten in their last twenty one home premiership games. They have two victories in their last seven. (W12 D9 L0)

Hearts of Oak have managed only three away wins in the premier league this season after eleven attempts. (W3 D3 L5)

Asante Kotoko SC have lost just twice in their last twelve meetings with Hearts of Oak in the premiership. (W5 D5 L2)

Hearts of Oak have lost only two of their last thirteen visits to Asante Kotoko SC in the premier league. (W5 D6 L2)

Asante Kotoko SC have kept six clean sheets out of their eleven home fixtures in the premier league this campaign.

Hearts of Oak have managed to keep just four clean sheets in eleven travelings this season in the premiership.