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GPL Outstanding Fixture: Asante Kotoko VS. Hearts of Oak

Accra Hearts of Oak will renew its age-old rivalry with Asante Kotoko this weekend when they take a trip to Kumasi to honour the rescheduled match-day 23 2016/17 Ghana Premier League fixture on Sunday, 6th August 2017.

The Phobians had been in fine form in the month of July, winning their last three games beating Berekum Chelsea (2-0), Tema Youth (3-1), and Danbort (1-0) and they will be hoping to continue their good streak with a victory over Kotoko on Sunday.

Hearts have already beaten the Porcupines twice in their last three encounters this season and judging at the form guide, the Phobians are nailed on to inflict another defeat on the convalescing Kotoko.

Coach Frank Nuttall’s side have no injury worry going into the game and they have been boosted with the return of Winful Cobbinah and Leonard Tawiah from suspension. The duo were missing in the hard fought 1-0 MTN FA Cup win over Danbort last Sunday but their absence afforded coach Nuttall a chance to re-jig his side. Richard Akrofi was pushed into defensive midfield whilst Robert Addo was handed his first ever full start. But it remains to be seen how coach Nuttall will approach the game.

Kotoko were dealt a heavy blow last month after suffering a road accident but they have recovered admirably from the tragedy. The Porcupines put Nacoster to the sword, whipping the Division 2 side 4-1, in midweek as dress rehearsal for the weekend’s big game.

The Porcupines have been on and off at home this season but they will be fired up and will seek to recover by getting one over the Phobians on Sunday.

Hearts will be going all out as well and will be aiming to close the gap atop the league log with Aduana Stars and WAFA dropping points and they are certainly aware that a win will boost our slim chances of claiming the title this season.

Not to look too deep into the future, the players must guard against complacency and not take the battle ahead lightly. The history of the Hearts-Kotoko rivalry has most often favored the under-dog but though Kotoko are clear underdogs for this weekend’s clash, the team must be wary and not be taken by surprise.

The last time Hearts played in Kumasi, they were handed one of the best supporting acts by their teeming fans and though they could not get the win in the President Cup over Kotoko, the gesture is still fresh on the memory of the players and this Sunday is the time to repay the support.

MATCH FACTS:

The two teams have met 105 times in the Ghana Premier League. Hearts have won 35, drawn 37 and lost 33 times to Kotoko in the league.

From the professional league era, started in 1993/94, the two sides have met 44 times in the league. Hearts have won 16, lost 10, and drawn 18 times against Kotoko. In that period, the Phobians have scored 49 goals, and conceded 40.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: SEASON/RESULT

1993/94

Hearts 0-0 Kotoko
Kotoko 0-0 Hearts

 

1994 / 1995

Hearts 2:1 Kotoko
Kotoko 3:1 Hearts

 

1995 / 1996

Kotoko 2:1 Hearts
Hearts 3:3 Kotoko

 

1996 / 1997

Kotoko 1:2 Hearts
Hearts 1:1 Kotoko

 

1997 / 1998

Hearts 1:1 Kotoko
Kotoko 2:2 Hearts

 

1998 / 1999

Kotoko 0:1 Hearts
Hearts 2:0 Kotoko

2000

Hearts 4:0 Kotoko
Kotoko 1:1 Kotoko

 

2001

Hearts 2:1 Kotoko
Kotoko 2:0 Hearts

 

2002

Kotoko 1:1 Hearts
Hearts 3:0 Kotoko

2003

Hearts 0:0 Kotoko
Hearts 1:1 kotoko

 

2004 (Over All Decider Between Zone A and Zone B)

Hearts 1: 0 Kotoko

2005

Kotoko 3:1 Hearts
Hearts 1:1 Kotoko

 

2006 / 2007

Kotoko 0:1 Hearts
Hearts 3:1 Kotoko

 

2007 / 2008

Hearts 0:0 Kotoko
Kotoko 3:3 Hearts

 

2008 / 2009

Kotoko 1:2 Hearts
Hearts 0:1 Kotoko

 

2009 / 2010

Hearts 1:0 Kotoko
Kotoko 0:1 Hearts

 

2010 / 2011

Kotoko 0:1 Hearts
Hearts 0:2 Kotoko

 

2011 / 2012

Hearts 0:0 Kotoko
Kotoko 2:1 Hearts

 

2012 / 2013

Hearts 0:0 Kotoko
Kotoko 1:1 Hearts

 

2013 / 2014

Hearts 0:1 Kotoko
Kotoko 0:0 Hearts

 

2014 / 2015

Kotoko 0:1 Hearts
Hearts 1:2 Kotoko

2015/2016

Hearts 0 : 1 Kotoko

Kotoko 1 : 1 Hearts

2016/2017

Hearts 1 : 0  Kotoko

Kotoko ? : ? Hearts

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