Sports Features Tue, 13 Dec 2011

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Why Chelsea will beat Kotoko to assume top spot

Kumasi Asante Kotoko with their history backing them in addition to the kind of support they enjoy, could easily tempt any one into making fast predictions against their opponents. There is no denying the fact that Kotoko like any other big teams around the globe, start as favourites against any opposition they meet no matter the venue.

But there is only one team in the Glo Ghana Premier League that this above mentioned accolade of Kotoko can’t derail them and it is no other team than Berekum Chelsea, the defending champions of the Glo premier League.

Over the years, Kotoko have encountered so many bogey sides in the Ghanaian league. One can talk of Great Olympics, Hearts of Oak, Ebusua Dwarfs and just about two or three seasons ago Heart of Lions also joined the frame but currently none of the aforementioned names bully Kotoko more than Berekum Chelsea.

There are so many schools of thought that would defend Kotoko for the fact that they have currently stopped two of this bogey sides which are Dwarfs and Lions at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium as far as the league is concerned. But if we are going by good analysis not influenced by fanaticism, you could see that Dwarfs and Lions currently come nowhere near Berekum Chelsea in terms of quality materials, motivation, managerial skills and great technical ability.

When a minnow beats a bigger team in a bigger stage for the first time, the possibility of the former overcoming the so-called bigger team in subsequent matches is great. The emphasis is on Ghana Black Stars why up to now the US men senior national team can't beat us in the World Cup ever since we defeated them for the first time at that higher stage in 2006. When a giant loses for the first time to a weaker opponent, the fear is gone. France have become a bogey side to Brazil because of the 1998 World Cup 3-0 loss.

Chelsea, last season from 2 goals down, still managed to beat Kotoko at the Baba Yara, though in truth Kotoko’s performance at that time was nothing to write home about. But Chelsea proved to the whole world on the national television, GTV, in the President’s Cup that last season’s Baba Yara feat wasn't a fluke and l can’t remember the last time Kotoko beat Berekum Chelsea in a competitive match.

Chelsea have demonstrated to Kotoko that “A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.” So an objective analysis would straight away suggest Chelsea would once again beat Kotoko in the outstanding fixture come Wednesday at the very same Baba Yara Sports Stadium.

Again, Chelsea is doing double training because they are not only preparing to win back the league title but they are going to Africa for the CAF Champions League as well and l believe their 28 man squad submitted to GFA to be sent to CAF are the same list encountering Kotoko on Wednesday. Their reserve side beat Bofoakwa, a division one side 1-0 in an exhibition match last Friday. l don't know if Ahmed Toure would be available for Kotoko because l understand he is having his medicals in Egypt but Chelsea still possess lethal and potent strikers like captain Abdul Basit Mohammed and Emmanuel Clottey to defeat Kotoko.

Another instance of Chelsea’s strength is their away performance. They do play quality football away than playing at home and their weapon lies on quality pitch because they have this philosophy that they don’t play counter attack. Their tactics is one touch, two touches and ten good touches mean one chance of a goal so imagine a team like this on fertile grounds like Baba Yara what would happen.

Another aspect is their technical setup. Coach Hans van der Pluym has the venom of beating Kotoko, he made Kotoko on several occasion vulnerable when he was at Heart of Lions. So if a quality coach like this is now in charge of quality materials as Chelsea, Kotoko have work to do.

l wish the match had taken place on Sunday like all the Match Day 11 fixtures because we don't want the postponement to be a yardstick for any excuses. We don't want any jet lag excuse when defeat comes. We don’t want it to be to be like an adage that says ‘A bad workman blames his tools.’

My bold prediction is that the best for Kotoko in Wednesday’s game is a draw. If we get a win, it most certainly would be Chelsea 1 Kotoko 0. Thank you.

Source: Raymond Yeboah - Sportsinghana.com

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