Asante Kotoko will aim for all the spoils against King Faisal to pile pressure on leaders Hearts of Oak.
The Porcupine Warriors come into the contest fresh from the narrow loss to rivals Hearts of Oak on Sunday. The defeat left them in second place – three points behind their old foes with three matches to end the season.
The loss to Hearts of Oak ended a nine-match unbeaten run – dating back to April 24 when they lost 2-1 to Medeama SC at home.
”We made one mistake in the match and we conceded the goal. We had a great chance with [Augustine] Okrah, easy but we didn’t make it (score). So if you don’t make the goals (score), you accept the result. Congratulations to Hearts,”
”But I award (praise) my players. They fought, they made everything. In the end we have to wait till the end of the league’’ said Kotoko Coach Mariano Baretto in a post-match interview.
The Portuguese trainer is refusing to throw in the towel despite trailing the Phobians and aims to encourage his players to fight to the latter.
On player updates, Razak Ablaora, Yussif Mubarik and Moro Ibrahim who missed the game against Hearts of Oak are back in training and available for selection.
Asante Kotoko have lost 5, drawn 11 and won in 15 after 31 League matches – scoring 35 and conceding 18 goals in the process.
King Faisal have endured a difficult season and would fight to get the best out of the three remaining matches in the fight against relegation. They sit in 15th place with 36 points – only one point ahead of the relegation zone. The Greens have improved tremendously in the last nine games – where they have won 4, lost 4 and drawn one. They head into the game buoyed by the 2-0 win over Legon Cities on match day 31.
Kwame Frimpong, Kwame Peprah, Eric Donkor, Danlad Ibrahim, Paul Aidoo, Atta Kusi and Samudeen Ibrahim have the requisite experience for big matches on the domestic front.
The strife between these city rivals goes much deeper – commercial and cultural disputes stretch back over two decades. King Faisal have always been a bogey side of Asante Kotoko in both the Premier League and FA Cup. Both teams need the points for different reasons – for King Faisal, picking the three points will boost their survival hopes, with three matches to end the season.
The match will take place at Len Clay stadium on Saturday and will be shown live on StarTimes Adepa channel 247.