Accra, The Ghana Premier League finally returns on Wednesday October 4, having gone on a month’s break. The break was to allow football fans to focus on the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Cup of Nations tournament.
Judging by the performance of Ghana’s Black Stars B, and the success of the tournament, it is only fair to say it was worth the break after all.
Lovers of local football can finally turn their attention to their domestic clubs just barely a week after a successful WAFU tournament (both on and off the pitch). It becomes even more interesting and apprehensive (for clubs) when there are only four matches to end the 2016/17 league season.
The top liner for the mid-week games will obviously be the match between league leaders Aduana Stars and second placed West African Football Academy (WAFA). Aduana Stars has accumulated 48 points after 26 matches whilst WAFA are just a point adrift. Aduana Stars will need the maximum points to have a clear chance of winning the league.
Aduana’s home invincibility continues this season having won 10 of their 13 games so far at home. The other three games ended in a goalless draw. What is more exciting about them at home is the fact that they have conceded only one goal (in their 2-1 win over Liberty) and scored 19 goals. Their opponents on the other hand have won 3 games away, lost 6 and drawn 2 this season.
They (WAFA) have also conceded 12 goals and scored 9 goals away this season. This shows how close the tie will be as it may determine who wins the league this season.
Aduana Stars know how to grind results at home when it matters, and such an important match, expect Aduana to win even by a slim margin.
The Phobians are having a positive feeling going into this game after beating WA All Stars just three days ago in the MTN FA Cup semifinal. Hearts of Oak are 4 points of the pace and will need a win to push their chances of annexing the league more closer, after an eight year hiatus. The experience gained from the WAFU tournament by four of their players would be brought to bear in this game. Vincent Atingah, Hearts dependable defender will however miss the action because of his stint with the Black Stars for the Uganda world cup qualifier. But his place is likely to be filled by Inusah Musah, who is back from a long injury.
Wa All Stars have enjoyed a torrid adventure as defending champions so far, resulting in the sack of their title winning coach Enos Adepa early in the season. Wa All Stars are five points above the relegation zone and will hope to win to guard their safety in the league.
All Stars have lost two out of nine home games with Hearts (W5 D2 L2). And the fact that All Stars are undefeated with four wins in their last six home games makes it more difficult for the visitors. But the Phobians are also unbeaten in their last five league games with 3 wins. The game is likely to end in a draw.
The first of the local derbies for week 27 is the Brong Ahafo derby between Chelsea and Bechem United. Chelsea remains the dominant side in their nine meetings with Bechem United having won 3, lost 2 with 4 ending in a draw. Chelsea have 36 points and just one point ahead of their regional rivals Bechem United. Both sides have not been consistent in the league this season. Chelsea have lost 4 of their last nine premier league games and has won three of them. Bechem United on the other hand have lost 5, drawn 1 and won 3 of their last nine matches. Chelsea will rely on the form of WAFU top scorer Stephen Sarfo to steer them to victory.
Bechem have only one win in their last ten away games, and have lost 9. Chelsea have beaten Bechem twice and drawn once at home in the derby.
Tema Youth FC would take on Elmina Sharks at the Tema sports stadium. Tema Youth have suffered just two losses of their last eighteen home games in the premiership (W9 D7 L2). Elmina Sharks FC have managed only two victories away in their first ever premier league season (W2 D4 L7).
Sharks have been in impressive form of late. In Sharks’ last six matches they have won 5 and lost only one. Tema Youth FC have however suffered only two losses of their last eighteen home games in the premiership. A draw is a likely result.
Accra Great Olympics find themselves in an unpleasant situation at the moment. The club has suffered internal strife and poor managerial decisions which puts them second from the bottom on the league log. They are fortunate to get a respite when they face off with another unstable side in Bolga All Stars, who have been condemned for relegation already. Olympics will need to take the advantage of lack of desire to play in their opponents to win by a huge margin.
Bolga are the least scoring side (16 goals) and are the highest conceding team having allowed in 60 goals. Olympics are expected to increase their goal tally with the hope of keeping their chances of staying in the league up.
At the Cape Coast stadium where Ebusua Dwarfs host Inter Allies, it will be a game of great interest with both sides battling to survive. Dwarfs have 35 points whilst Inter Allies have 33 points. It is not looking good for either side as a slip up will drop them into the relegation bracket. Ebusua Dwarfs have won just one of their last five fixtures in the premier league (W1 D2 L2) whilst Inter Allies FC have only one victory in their last six matches in the premier league (W1 D2 L3).
Ebusua Dwarfs have lost only one of their last fourteen home games in the league but have only one win in the last four (W9 D4 L1). Inter Allies FC are without a single win in their last fourteen fixtures on the road in the premier league (W0 D7 L7). Ebusua Dwarfs are unbeaten in their two home premier league matches against Inter Allies FC.
Dwarfs will take the advantage of playing at home to increase their points tally against their not too fancied opponents. A likely slim margin win for the home team.
The other two remaining fixtures Kotoko vs Ashgold and Medeama vs Liberty have been postponed to Thursday following the FA Cup fixture between Kotoko and Medeama on Monday.
Source: Ghana News Agency