Match: Hearts of Oak Vs New Edubiase
Venue: Accra Sports Stadium
There seems to be calm waters at the end of the tunnel for Kenichi Yatsuhashi’s team. After a string of poor results in the beginning of pre-sesason, Hearts seems to have picked up some momentum. Despite a combination of fresh blood and old guard, King Keni’s team are still as unpredictable ever. Edubiase on the hand, are far from the team that secured back to back victories against Hearts of Oak last season.
The departure of the Nuhu brothers in particular will be telling in their campaign this term. They can however be trusted to churn out new talent as they’ve consistently done over the last few years. But they cannot be trusted to begin the season with a bang and that’s why I believe Hearts of Oak will just nick this one.
Prediction: Hearts of Oak 2-1 New Edubiase FC
Match: Ebusua Dwarfs Vs Dreams FC
Venue: Cape Coast Stadium
This is the battle of the new boys. While Dwarfs are experienced campaigners in the premier league, Dreams are only participating in the top flight for the first time ever. But nobody can forget their fairytale rise to the top. The club was founded only in 2009.
Dwarfs still have survivors from the last time in the league in the 2013/2014 season. Captain Stephen Aidoo and striker Richard Gadze are still with the Cape Coast-based side while they’ve also roped in Romeo Agban from Hearts of Oak. Dreams have the highly experienced Eric Gawu, Mozart Adjetey, Emmanuel Hayford and Smallboy Korbah.
Playing at the new Cape Coast stadium, Dwarfs won’t necessarily be very used to the playing surface either. In the end, a draw will be a fair result.
Prediction: Dwarfs 1-1 Dreams FC
Match: Bechem United Vs Liberty Professionals
Venue: Nana Fosu Gyeabour Park, Bechem
Bechem United have a new manager in charge in Belgian Erradi Mohammed Adil but no one really knows what sort of credentials he comes with. But then again, it was a similar story when they appointed Tom Strand. But it turned out to be a spectacular decision leading them to a 5th place finish in the 2013/2014 season. Liberty meanwhile have lost some very key players including their top scorer from last season Kennedy Ashia.
One thing Liberty will always be trusted to do is to adequately replace their outgoing stars with prominent youngsters. And perhaps their biggest bit of business was to not allow the exciting Latif Blessing to leave despite a barrage of interest from within and without.
Bechem is naturally a difficult ground to go to losing only to Kotoko at home last season. Add the fact that Liberty needs few matches for their youngsters to grow into the season, and I see a narrow win for Bechem.
Prediction: Bechem United 2-1 Liberty Professionals
Match: Inter Allies Vs Aduana
Venue: Tema Sports Stadium
Inter Allies coach Herbert Addo welcomes his former side to the Tema stadium knowing very well what he’ll be up against. The experienced trainer has said that this year’s league will be one of the most competitive league seasons ever and he’s right. A lot of people’s money is on Aduana to win this year’s league after going on a spending spree in the transfer window.
However, is Nurudeen Amadu the man to entrust all of these super stars to? Only time would tell. But for me, if you’re going to spend all that money, you should invest in a high profile coach as well. Addo is also back to a comfortable dug out. After a run of 7 games without a single win in their debut season, Allies looked to Addo to salvage their season and boy did he deliver, leading them to survival and an FA Cup final.
This should be a very good game to watch for neutrals.
Prediction: Inter Allies 1-1 Aduana Stars
Match: Wa All Stars Vs Hasaacas
Venue: Wa Sports Stadium
Jimmy Corblah’s sacking came as a surprise to many. To become the first manager to lose his job even before the start of the new league season was baffling. But that’s exactly what Wa All Stars did when they replaced Corblah with his assistant Enos Kwame Adipa before their pre-season trip to Saudi Arabia.
But the Blues still have more stability on their side than their guest Hasaacas, whose pre-season preparations have been overshadowed by issues of player agitations over outstanding salaries. One characteristic of Hasaacas last season was their poor away form with their only win a famous 2-1 triumph over a sorry Hearts of Oak.
Not much will change about Hasaacas’ away form this season despite the additions of former goal king Eric Bekoe to their side. They have failed to find adequate replacement for Fredrick Quayson as well, their top scorer from last season.
Prediction: Wa All Stars 3-1 Hasaacas
Techiman: Techiman City Vs Berekum Chelsea
Venue: Nana Ameyaw Park, Techiman
Top-flight football finally returns to Ghana’s commercial city for the first time since 1986. As controversial as their participation in the league might be, when they step out on Sunday afternoon against regional rivals Chelsea, only one thing will be on their mind-win.
The Techiman-based side did not lose a single game at home in Division One last season, popularly nicknaming their home grounds the “Lion’s Den.” Stephen Manu and Samuel Kyere are two of the most experienced players TCFC have added to their team.
Berekum Chelsea were last season’s highest goal scorers with 43 goals. However, the man that helped with almost half of that number Kofi Owusu is no longer with them. Solomon Odjo’s team are a delight to watch sometimes. It should be a charged atmosphere in Techiman but I can’t see Techiman City winning.
Prediction: Techiman City 1-1 Berekum Chelsea
Match: Ashantigold Vs Medeama
Venue: Len Clay Stadium, Obuasi
This is arguably the clash of the round- two sides that play some exciting football. The defending champions have had numerous issues off the field and their participation in Africa has also been a bit of a distraction for the Osono lads.
In the super cup game, Medeama triumphed 1-0 but it’s difficult to see a repeat of that score line in Obuasi. This past transfer window was one of the busiest Ashgold have had in as many years signing as many as nine (9) players. However, it was obvious in the CAF champions’ league game against MO Bejaia that the new players need more time to get used to the Bashir Hayford way of playing, and they need to work on their goal scoring. Tom Strand on the other hand is building something truly special at Medeama SC.
The manner in which they dispatched Kumasi Asante Kotoko in the FA cup final last year was great to watch. Ashgold will definitely out-possess their opponents as they turn to do most of the time and they should be able to get one over Medeama this time.
Prediction: Ashgold 3-2 Medeama