Struggling Asante Kotoko take on champions Medeama in an epic Ghana Premier League match on Sunday desperate to end their recent run of poor results.
The Ghanaian giants find themselves in the relegation trap net after suffering three successive defeats.
The situation is much murkier than the eye as they have not won a Premier League match in five outings.
Pressure is mounting on coach Prosper Nartey Ogum – whose utterances amid the side’s unflattering start to the season has escalated rising internal bickering at the club.
Ogum has accused senior players of the team of being ‘politicians’ – in a dramatic blowing the lid on the attitude of senior players in the team.
The Asante Kotoko coach has his work cut out for him at the Baba Yara Stadium on Sunday as a defeat could spell his end at the club amid talks of a potential sack.
Medeama coach Evans Augustine Adotey’s men go into the match on the back of an unforgettable double-winning season, and their latest hurdle this time around come in the shape of facing the country’s biggest club in the Garden City.
Asante Kotoko coach Prosper Nartey Ogum has named a strong 20-man squad for the match billed to take place at the citadel of football in Ghana – the Baba Yara Stadium.
Fans favourite Justice Blay returns to the squad after recovering from injury while striker Steven Mukwala also make the squad.
Mercurial midfielder Baba Yahaya is also back in contention while the likes of Enoch Morrison, Eric Zeze, George Mfegue, Isaac Oppong, Kalo Ouattara and Richmond Lamptey make the match day squad.
Defenders Henry Ansu, Sheriff Mohammed and Nurudeen Yussif are all in the reckoning for a starting berth.
However, there are no places for Augustine Agyapong, Rocky Dwamena, Richmond Opoku and Julius Ziggy Ofori, who have been left out of the squad for the all-important fixture.
Medeama are without three key players – Jonathan Sowah, Fatawu Hamid and Nurudeen Abdulai for the cracking game against the Porcupine Warriors.
The trio are on international duty with Ghana in Comoros for a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against The Coelacanths in Moroni on Tuesday.
The gaffer has named a 25-man squad for the match against Asante Kotoko with a number of youngsters getting a look-in.
Ebenezer Nkrumah, David Boison and Kelvin Nkrumah have made the travelling squad to Kumasi for the showdown.
Kamaradini Mahamudu is back in the squad after missing the 1-0 defeat at home to Berekum Chelsea due to a minor headache.
Medeama will rely on the attacking duo of Daniel Lomotey and Joshua Agyemang in the absence of Jonathan Sowah to cause damage against the Porcupine Warriors.
Both coach Evans Augustine Adotey and his opposite number Prosper Nartey Ogum are under pressure at their respective clubs.
While Ogum may be sacked if he side loses against Medeama, Adotey’s position at the club has been talked about in the club’s circles – with their 1-0 home defeat to Chelsea a massive reference for potential dismissal.
But he has an opportunity to rewrite the script against Asante Kotoko in Kumasi infront of a passionate Kumasi fans.
To the surprise of nobody, Medeama are regarded favourites for this one. They may be without three influential players but their vast array of other talent makes them favourites against the struggling giants.
Medeama completed the double last season, clinching a historic Premier League crown and the Super Cup.
Their exploits has also seen them progress to the group stage of the CAF Champions League for the first time of asking.
The Mauve and Yellow are billed to play Africa’s most successful club Al Ahly, Algerian giants CR Belouizdad and Tanzania’s Young Africans.
The challenge now will be to continue scaling such unprecedented heights; Medeama’s title success can also be counter-productive as there can so often be a drop-off after a team has reached the top of the mountain.
The two-time FA Cup winners will hope to maintain theirs standard after recent slips in their title defence ambition.
Medeama have been the most successful Ghanaian club in the last 10-years – clocking a Premier League title, two FA Cups, two Super Cups, two appearances in the CAF Confederation Cup with a group stage showing in 2016 and now group stage contenders in the CAF Champions League for the first time of asking – to make them the most talked about team in the last decade.
There is a long road ahead of them before they can begin thinking about defending the title, though, and some eyebrows may have been raised by their defeats to Hearts of Oak and Berekum Chelsea in the league.
The Mauve and Yellow are determined to dominate the domestic league but are currently being challenged by twice former winners Aduana Stars with Bechem United and Nsoatreman FC also lurking.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Porcupine Warriors have yet to pick up a point in their last three matches – losing at home to Dreams FC and away at Samartex, although they were much improved from the home defeat to the CAF Confederation Cup campaigners.
The battle lines have been drawn for a sensational match in Kumasi on Sunday afternoon with a lot at stake for both teams.
Medeama beat Kotoko 2-0 at the same venue last season and will hope to bag another sweet victory in Kumasi.
But that won’t come easy as Asante Kotoko are wounded and will be desperate to placate their angry fans.