What a weekend of exciting football could prove to be in the Ghana Premier League. Match-week 11 in the topflight will see enemy lines drawn, gauntlets laid and hostilities renewed in what is being widely dubbed “the weekend of the derbies”. With Ashgold welcoming Kotoko in the Ashanti derby and Olympics locking horns with Hearts of Oak in the Ga Mashie derby, one would be forgiven for putting the Bono and the Nzema derbies under the radar with the Eleven Wonders – Bechem United, Karela – Medeama games not to be taken lightly too.
Speaking of the Nzema derby, it’s a game to savor most especially for the people of Anyinasi, Tarkwa, the Nzema territory and the Western Region as a whole. Karela United have been in imperious form at the comforts of their spiritual home grounds, the Crosby Awuah Memorial Park so far this season winning all five games scoring 12 goals, conceding 3 and keeping 2 clean sheets for good measure.
The CAM park was still under construction last season when the season commenced and Karela had to pitch camp in Tarkwa and share the Akoon Park with Sunday’s guests, Medeama. Quite unsurprisingly the Anyinasi based outfit struggled adapting and found themselves languishing at the bottom end of the table at the time the season was terminated because of the pandemic.
This season, however, their newly refurbished home grounds have offered the impetus to Karela to rediscover themselves again with the likes of Diawisie Taylor, Kwame Boateng and Franklin Osei leading from the front for the table-toppers. Taylor especially, who is top-scorer with 8 goals so far this season has been almost unplayable at times and reports that he may miss out on this encounter through injury are pretty disturbing for Karela’s chances in this game. He could be a huge loss.
Medeama for their part have begun getting close to something resembling the form they displayed last season and the season prior and are unbeaten in the last three games winning two: vs Aduana and Inter Allies, with the impressive draw picked up against Ashgold in Obuasi sandwiched in between those two victories. Abass Mohammed bagged a brace vs Inter Allies last time out and has 4 in all so far this season and is on a quite decent run going into this game. Akwasi Donsu, Justice Blay, Isaac Agyenim Boateng and co have all been in impressive form of late and will be looking forward to building on their momentum to help keep them climbing up the table. They lie 9th on the standings going into this one. Ahmed Toure has been snapped up and Prince Opoku Agyemang, last season’s top-scorer for Medeama has also returned after his brief loan stint with South African topflight outfit Cape Town City FC. Both are however unable to feature for Medeama until at least mid-February in what could turn out to be a devastating partnership for the Yellow and Mauves.
But for the here and now, the bragging rights are up for grabs on Sunday at the CAM park in Anyinasi. The battle to come out tops as Western Region’s topmost Premier League outfit has never been keener. Karela would curse their stars before they allow Medeama to remove the cloak of their home invincibility and Medeama would very much like to keep their newly found momentum going. Put these two scenarios under consideration and you have a potential crunch showdown beckoning on Sunday in Anyinasi. So, who will come out tops in this all-important battle of wits?