After the loss recorded by Aduana Stars and Asante Kotoko who are third and fourth respectively on the Ghana Premier League table on Wednesday, the Phobians seek to return to the top spot with a victory over Liberty Professionals .
The Phobians who have been overtaken by Wa All Stars at the summit of the log though on same points, seek to reclaim their top spot with a win over Liberty Professionals on Thursday at the Accra Sports Stadium where the game will be played behind closed doors.
Hearts will face a stiff challenge from the Dansoman-based club who seem to have rediscovered their form and edging closer to the top four after their 2-0 victory over New Edubiase on Monday inspired by the presence of former player and Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan at the Carl Reindorf Park.
Coming into the game, the Phobians have won just a game out of their last four games and look shaky as they play without fans at the stadium – a punishment for an unruly behavior of fans in the week 6 1-3 home loss to Wa All Stars. The 1-1 draw against Aduana Stars at Dormaa on Sunday should be motivating enough for the Rainbow boys to secure the maximum points at home.
Hearts of Oak enter the game to continue their dominance of the ‘Scientific Soccer Lads’ with 19 wins to Liberty’s eight victories out of 32 games played between them, only five ending in drawn games. However, they have been very loose at the back conceding in four of their six home games this campaign.
Liberty Professionals coming into the game fully aware a victory sends them into the first four of the league will count on their three victories in six away games to Hearts to get a favourable results. Nonetheless, Liberty have not been impressive defensively on the travel with just a clean sheet out of six games this season.
The threat and danger posed by Latif Blessing, Bernard Arthur, Daniel Kodie and Ebo Mends will be the main weapons for Liberty in midfield and upfront as Captain Samuel Sarfo marshals the defence. There are no injury worries for the away side.
Coach Yatsuhashi will welcome back Soulama Abdoulaye into the squad after his three match suspension due to his red card in the Super Clash. The return of Samudeen Ibrahim, Richard Yamoah, Isaac Oduro and Thomas Abbey will have to wait until after the regional derby but Cosmos Dauda’s influence and the experience of Samuel Yeboah will be enough for the home side in attack.
Robin Gnagne the captain together with experienced Mustapha Essuman should be able to lead the team in defence and midfield to light up the Rainbow colours at the Accra Sports Stadium.
It is tight to call the Phobians to an outright victory in a game that will see their fans outside the stadium but a minimum of a point should be within the grasp of Kenishi Yatsuhashi in a bid to stay top.
The vice Ghana FA Chief, George Afriyie’s side will find it difficult to dispatch the joint league leaders at their own backyard but their recent performances predicts a tough game for the Phobians and a possible upset.
The match kicks off at exactly 3:00 pm local time at the nation’s capital.