Dennis Osei Gyamfi, GNA
Accra, Oct 12, GNA - The Ghana Premier League will this weekend head into its penultimate stage as the 2016/17 season nears its end.
It appears a league winner could be confirmed this weekend as things continue to shape up clearly at the top with the relegation dog fight getting more interesting.
Aduana Stars would relish a chance to win their second league trophy this weekend with a win at home against Elmina Sharks. The ‘Ogya Boys’ have not lost in 14 home games this season against tough opponents like second placed West Africa Football Academy( WAFA), all falling to the Dormaa side.
Yaw Acheampong’s Elmina Sharks have discovered the trick playing away from home, having won three of their last five away matches. They were nonetheless surprised by strugglers Olympics last weekend when they lost at home. Nathaniel Asamoah and Derrick Sassraku should combine well in front of goal to carry the day and confirm the good work of coach Yussif Abubakar for his side this season.
Aduana’s closest challengers WAFA will travel to Cape Coast to face Ebusua Dwarfs at the Cape Coast Stadium. Ebusua Dwarfs have lost only one of its last five home games, whilst WAFA on the other hand, had lost four and drawing one in their last five away matches. A win for the Academy boys will still keep them in the title chase depending on the result in Dormaa. Dwarfs do not look very safe on the log and would want a win to cement a comfortable place in the league.
Hearts of Oak are playing away to Medeama at Tarkwa in a match that has nothing much at stake except the bragging rights. The Phobians in their last six visits to Tarkwa had won ones, lost twice, and drawn thrice. Hearts’ influential skipper Thomas Abbey will however miss the match due to suspension.
The Baba Yara Sports Stadium will also witness two former champions locking horns. Twenty-three time title holders Asante Kotoko will host 2010/11 winners Berekum Chelsea in a game of equals. Both sides have shown some level of inconsistency so far in the campaign. Kotoko are under pressure to win at home after drawing 7 of their last 10 home games and winning the rest. Chelsea has not lost in their last two visits to the Baba Yara Staduim.
Defending champions, WA All Stars have seen a disappointing defence of their title so far with 39 points. They however host the whipping side of the season, Bolga All Stars and so look assured of all three points. Bolga knowing their relegation status already have not been competitive in the league, having picked up just two points in their last 15 matches.
In Accra, where the relegation dog fight will begin, Great Olympics after picking up the maximum points away to Elmina Sharks will welcome former champions Ashanti Gold. Olympics are second from bottom with 33 points whilst their opponents are five points ahead.
Coach Godwin Attram has brought some level of stability in the team with only one defeat in their last 5 matches. And in their last two games, the ‘Wonder boys’ have picked all six points. Their opponents meanwhile come with a lot of experience in their squad. Former Black Stars B defender Tijani Joshua has enjoyed great partnership with former Asante Kotoko defender Abeiku Ainooson at the back. Charles Akornor side are set to come out with a good result.
Tema Youth will host Bechem United at the Tema Sports Stadium. The lads from Tema find themselves in a scary situation and nothing but a win can take them out of their predicament. Bechem are also four points above their opponents and also in the drop zone.
In another crunch battle at the EL- Wak Stadium, Inter Allies will host Liberty in a fierce contest. With 36 points, Inter Allies would have a last shot at home to increase their points tally as their next game against Hearts of Oak away will be an uphill task. Liberty, with 38 points will look to grind a positive results as their next home game against Asante Kotoko wouldn’t come cheap either.
This week’s matches could confirm two things, who wins the 2016/17 league and which teams joins Bolga All Stars to the lower division.