Charles Kwablan Akonnor was furious with Asante Kotoko’s performance against Al Hilal and has demanded a quick response when they play host to Zesco United on Wednesday, February 13 at 4:00 PM Kick off.
The Porcupine Warriors head into the game with a lot of optimism as they face Zesco in the match-day two of the 2018-19 Total CAF Confederation Cup.
Asante Kotoko have enjoyed a series of consistent performance for the first time in a decade in a continental championship having gone past two rounds in the competition already before their loss against the Sudanese heavyweights Al Hilal.
The visitors’ coach George Lwandamina is full of confidence ahead of the fixture and has promised to maintain their 100% record in Kumasi on Wednesday.
However, they face a huge task as Asante Kotoko are poised to make amends following their inability to claims points in Sudan last weekend in the match-day one of the group stages.
Obviously, Wednesday’s fixture could be of two halves as Kotoko will likely sit deep in the first half and try to sustain the attacks of Zesco United before they open up for priceless goals after the break.
Zesco United will undoubtedly be delighted to be able to count on returning duo Jacob Banda and Enock Sabamukumana.
Asante Kotoko have not reported any fresh injury concerns and are free of suspensions and have a full squad to choose from, veteran, Jordan Opoku who was sidelined for the Reds last two matches has been returned to the team for Wednesday’s showdown.
Asante Kotoko Form & Team News
Asante Kotoko have been in good form heading into Wednesday’s clash as they are unbeaten in four of their last five matches. They have claimed three wins in that run and are seeking their first three points of this season’s CAF Confederation Cup.
Kotoko suffered a 1-0 defeat away at Al Hilal Omdurman in their opening match in the group. Charles Akonnor’s team were second best to the Sudanese club for much of the contest.
Maxwell Baakoh was one of the standout players for Kotoko in the CAF Confederation Cup qualifiers and should start in attack on Wednesday. The forward should be joined by Yacouba Sogne and Emmanuel Gyamfi, who also impressed during the qualifiers.
Asante Kotoko will go into the game with the exception of new signing Dany Zabo Teguy who will need more time to adjust to Ghanaian football and the Porcupines’ philosophy. Habib Mohammed, another new signing, is, on the other hand, have been picked for the matchday squad for Kotoko.
Asante Kotoko squad;
Goalkeepers: Felix Annan, Muntari Tagoe
Defenders: Amos Frimpong, Augustine Sefah, Habib Mohammed, Agyeman Badu, Abdul Ismail Ganiu, Wahab Adams
Midfielders: Richard Senanu, Prince Acquah, Jordan Opoku, Kwame Bonsu, Emmanuel Gyamfi, Maxwell Baakoh, Kwame Boahene
Forwards: Songne Yacouba, Naby Keita, Abdul Fataw Safiu
Zesco United Form & Team News
Zesco United began their campaign in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup with a 2-0 victory at home against Nkana. However, their away form in the competition is poor having claimed just one win in 11 matches.
Zesco are coming off a 2-0 victory at home against Nakambala Leopards in the Zambian Super League. First-half goals from Jesse Were and Quadri Kola were enough to earn George Lwandamina’s team the win.
Were and Kola are likely to start on Wednesday following their goals against Nakambala. However, both men are set to feature for a Zesco United team that is winless in 10 of their last 11 away matches.
Goalkeeper Banda, skipper of the side, is expected to man the post, having had to serve a one-match suspension.
Midfielder Sabamukumana is also available for action after being out since picking up an injury ahead of the playoff round encounter against Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa on January 13.
New Japanese acquisition Kosuke Nakamachi will, however, play no part against Kotoko.
Zesco United squad;
Jacob Banda, Diedonne Nthibahezwa, Simon Silwimba, David Owino, Clement Mwape, Mwila Phiri, Anthony Akumu, Kondwani Mtonga, Jesse Were, John Ching’andu, Lazarus Kambole, Quadri Kola, Rahim Osumanu, Marcel Kalonda, Enock Sabamukama, Misheck Chaila, Maybin Kalengo, Shemmy Mayembe
This will be the first-ever meeting between Asante Kotoko and Zesco United.
Asante Kotoko vs Zesco United- Match-Up
Asante Kotoko will be banking on their good home form having won five of their last six matches in front of their fans. They have also scored six goals in their last three matches and with Gyamfi, Baakoh and Sogne should have too much quality for the Zambians.
Zesco United have struggled on their travels in the CAF Confederation Cup having failed to win in 10 of their last 11 away matches. They are likely to struggle in Ghana against a solid Asante Kotoko team.
Asante Kotoko vs Zesco United Key Statistics
– Asante Kotoko have won 5 of their last 6 home matches (CAF Confederation Cup).
– Asante Kotoko have seen over 2.5 goals in 4 of their last 5 home matches (CAF Confederation Cup).
– Zesco United have scored at least 1 goal in 4 of their last 6 away matches (all competitions).
Asante Kotoko have been fantastic at home in the CAF Confederation Cup having won five of their last six matches. They have scored six goals in their last three and with Gyamfi, Yacouba and Baakoh should have too much for a Zesco team who have a terrible away record.
Don’t expect Lwandamina’s side to roll over but it’s hard to foresee anything other than an Asante Kotoko victory.
Players to watch:
Emmanuel Gyamfi, Sogne Yacouba and Maxwell Baakoh
Jesse Were, Anthony Akumu and Lazarous Kambole