By Naabenyin Joojo Amissah
The first round of the 2017/2018 Xylophone Cash Premier League is gradually coming to a close, but there seem to be some sort of excitement as local derbies greet the penultimate round of matches.
Dormaa: Aduana Stars vrs Bechem United
The defending champions of the league, Aduana Stars, would play as favourites when they welcome Bechem United to the Nana Agyeman Badu Park for the regional show down.
Aduana has won 3 of their previous six legged encounters, while Bechem United has managed 2 wins with one of them ending in a draw.
It appears a done deal for Aduana who are playing at home, because the Fire side has never lost a game at home since they joined the premiership under late coach Herbert Addo.
The Hunters, on the other side, may want to prove their worth and hunting skills, but as to whether it would be enough to quench the blazing fire at home would leave a lot to be desired.
Techiman: Eleven Wonders vrs Berekum Chelsea
Debutant Eleven Wonders would have to perform wonders in their quest to conquer Berekum Chelsea, when the latter travel from Berekum to play as guest to Eleven Wonders.
The debutant have won 4 of their 13 previous matches, drawn 2 and suffered 7 loses and cannot afford to lose today’s game on home soil. A win would help them improve their position on the league table as they occupy the 13th position with 14 points.
Chelsea has won four games, just as Wonders, but has two loses lesser than their host. The two sides do not have any head-to-head record in the league as Wonders is playing for the first time this season.
Elmina: Elmina Sharks vrs Ebusua Dwarfs
All roads in the Central Region would lead to the Nduom Sports Complex in Elmina this afternoon as Elmina Sharks and Cape Coast Mysterious Ebusua Dwarfs revive their rivalry.
Though Dwarfs have always shown superiority when the two sides clashed in the Division One League in Zone Two, the story line has been different when Sharks finally joined the elite division last season.
Sharks won the maiden premiership game between the two regional rivals last season by a lone goal, but they were unlucky as Dwarfs revenged by winning 3-1 during the return encounter.
Sharks have been impressive at home this season and would be looking forward to adding Dwarfs to their victims this season, but the “Abontoa Abontoa” lads would definitely offer a strong resistance.
The regional derby would need maximum security as supporters of the two sides have been unaccommodating in their last two league matches.
Dansoman: Liberty Professionals vrs Asante Kotoko
Liberty Professionals, who started the league rather poorly, now appear to have found their grounds and would be a delight to watch today at their favourite Carl Reindolf Park, when they come face to face against a resurgent Kotoko.
Apart from Tema Youth, who were stunned by Baba Mahama’s lone goal that gave Kotoko a win in Tema, all the other Greater Accra clubs beat the Ashanti giants in Greater Accra last season.
They would need to work extra hard to avoid a repetition of the fate they suffered in Accra last season at the hands of Hearts, Olympics, Inter Allies and Liberty.
Both Liberty and Kotoko won their respective away and home matches last week and would be looking forward to transforming same zeal into today’s duel.
Sogakope: WAFA vrs Karela FC
Karela F/C, who recorded a 3-1 score line each against both Hearts and Kotoko would have to draw inspiration from what Medeama did to WAFA at Sogakope this afternoon, or risk being howled.
The academy side seems to have adapted to the technique of their new coach and are performing well after initial discomfort.
Both sides have been impressive in their last premiership games prior to today’s showdown, but WAFA, as always, can be very dangerous playing at home.
This would be the first time that WAFA would be playing the debutants in the league.
Tarkwa: Medeama S/C vrs Wa All Stars
Former champions Wa All Stars are likely to suffer defeat when they travel to face Medeama S/C in Tarkwa.
On paper, nothing can save the already deteriorating visitors, because of Medeama’s home insuperability and current form, having won 7, drawn 2 and lost 3 of their previous 12 league matches.
Wa All Stars has been the worst performing side in the league so far, with just a win, 4 draws and 7 losses.
Obuasi: Ashgold vrs Dreams
Dethroned league leaders, Ashgold will face Dreams FC. Both teams shot themselves to the top of the league table in the early stages of the season, but they seem to have slightly dipped in form recently.
Dreams were formerly coached by C.K. Akonnor and he would be expected to conjure magic to sink his former side at Obuasi.
Ashgold must work hard to improve their play, coming up against Dreams, who are currently chasing their dreams.
They have both won 7 matches so far in the league, but Ashgold has an outstanding match to clear as they have honoured 12 out of the 13 matches.