The 2020/2021 season of the Ghana Premier League (GPL) enters Day two this weekend, and Asante Kotoko will travel to Berekum to lock horns with the 2010-2011 League champions, Berekum Chelsea in the Day two fixture at the Golden City Park on Sunday afternoon.
Asante Kotoko flattered to deceive with a disappointing start to the season when they failed to win against minnows Eleven Wonders in their first home match in Accra last Sunday. Coach Ignatius Osei Fosu of Eleven Wonders was tactful on the day, leading his side to outplay the Porcupines and for the first time, made Wonders put a ball in Kotoko net to make the game end in a 1-1 stalemate.
Kotoko travel to Berekum, a difficult grounds in their league history with the aim of recording their first win of the season.
The Bibires will look to maintain their home dominance over Asante Kotoko as they welcome them in their first home league game of the 2020/21 season. Following the exit of head coach Asare Bediako after the 2019/2020 season to eventually join Accra Hearts of Oak as assistant to coach Edward Odoom, Berekum Chelsea, on October 13 this year, announced Michael Hesse Odamtten as their new head coach going into the new season.
Odamtten guided the team to secure a point away to Legon Cities in the season opener after drawing 1-1 with the Royals in Accra last Sunday. The match against Asante Kotoko will be his second competitive match as head coach for Chelsea, and his first home game of the new season.
Coach Odamtten has all his players available for selection against Asante Kotoko. There are no suspensions nor injury concerns in camp except winger Collins Ameyaw, who is on long term injury and will be out of several games in the season. The 54-year old Odamtten will face Asante Kotoko’s experienced coach Maxwell Konadu, who has once guided Asante Kotoko to win the league in 2011 during his first stint at the club.
Coach Maxwell Konadu’s side has what appears to be a herculean task ahead against Berekum Chelsea, as they look forward to winning all maximum points on Sunday. Asante Kotoko’s last visit to the Berekum Golden City park against Chelsea ended in a 0-0 drawn game in the 2019 NC Special Competition. In league matches, Kotoko’s last trip to the same venue was in the 2017 league season and the game ended goalless.
Injury updates: Defender Patrick Asmah, striker Evans Adomako and midfielder Latif Anabila are highly doubtful for the trip to Berekum, with almost no chance of recovering from injuries before the game on Sunday. High rated attacking midfielder Augustine Okrah also picked a knock during the season opener against Eleven Wonders and will not be available. Okrah has started light training, but only running without the ball, meaning Maxwell Konadu will have to do without him.
New signing Brazilian midfielder Fabio Dos Santos Gama has finally arrived in the country and has trained with the team, but he has declared himself half fit for serious work. The situation is in the hands of the technical and medical team of Asante Kotoko, but issues of documentation and registration look incomplete and will keep him out of action for a while.
Meanwhile, star striker Kwame Opoku is the player to watch in the Asante Kotoko set up. He scored 5 goals in 6 preseason matches for the “Kum Apem” boys and has followed it up with the season opening goal against Eleven Wonders last Sunday.
*Berekum Chelsea are undefeated in a league match against Asante Kotoko in the last ten (10) years (2010-2020)
*Asante Kotoko are winless against Berekum Chelsea in Berekum in their last seven (7) visits in the league (D4, L3)
*Asante Kotoko have managed to score only two (2) goals in their last eight (2) visits to Berekum in all competitions and have conceded 7 goals in the process.
- The last time Berekum Chelsea conceded a goal against Asante Kotoko at the Golden City Park was in the 2014/2015 league match (1-1)
- Asante Kotoko last won a match against Berekum Chelsea at Berekum in the 2009/2010 season (0-1)
HEAD TO HEAD
Berekum Chelsea gained promotion to play in the top flight league for the first time in 2008/2009 season. Since 2008 till date (2020), Asante Kotoko and Berekum Chelsea have met for a total of 22 times in league competitions. They have met 20 times in the GPL and the other two were in the 2019 NC Special Competition.
In all their last 22 matches, Asante Kotoko have the most wins (8), drawn eight (8) and have lost six (6). In the league proper, the Porcupines have won 7, drawn 7 and lost 6. In their 22 matches in all, Asante Kotoko have scored a total of 18 goals and have conceded 17.
Berekum Chelsea on the other hand, have won 6, drawn 8 and lost 8 in the 22 meetings with Asante Kotoko. They have scored a total of 17 goals and conceded 18. The match on Sunday, November 22, 2020 will be league match number 23rd league match (counting the NC Special Competition as a league), and the coach who will prove stronger on the day will decide the game.
The game has been scheduled for Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 15:00GMT at the Berekum Golden City Park.
Ref: Daniel Laryea
Assit. 1: Kwasi Brobbey
Assist. 2: Paul Atimaka
4th Ref: Alfaa Ba-Adey
Match Commissioner: J. B. Yakubu