thumbnail Hello,
The Goal Lounge: Who will win the Ghana Premier League - Kotoko, Medeama or Berekum Chelsea?

The Goal Lounge: Who will win the Ghana Premier League - Kotoko, Medeama or Berekum Chelsea?

Ghana fan at Angola 2010 (Getty Images)

Our panelists in the Lounge predict which team is going to win the Ghana domestic top flight with five games to go as Berekum Chelsea top the log with Kotoko and Medeama trailing

The Goal Lounge
Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly series, where we introduce you to the Goal Ghana reporters and their opinions on trending issues about the beautiful game. So take a seat and relax in The Goal Lounge as our four panelists debate:
Who will win the Ghana Premier League - Kotoko, Medeama or Berekum Chelsea?

NANA FRIMPONG | GOAL GHANA
With no more than five matchdays remaining, arrivistes Berekum Chelsea and Medeama find themselves engaged in what promises to be one of the most engaging title races in recent memory. However, from the objective perspective of this writer, the favourite to claim the league crown is neither outfit, rather it is the club that finds itself sandwiched between the pair: defending winners from last season and 21-time Ghanaian champions Kumasi Asante Kotoko. That Kotoko have drawn nearly twice as many games as their title challengers have and still find themselves just three points off the top is testament to the ability of Mas-Ud Didi Dramani’s side, having lost just two matches all season.

Granted, Kotoko’s run-in appears quite rough, as they would have to play former winners Aduana Stars and local rivals Ashantigold at home, as well as make trips to the daunting grounds of Berekum Arsenals, Heart of Lions and Amidaus Professionals respectively. Of those five sides, Kotoko only claimed maximum points over one (Arsenals) in the first round, and the Kumasi-based club are almost certain to add a few more drawn games to their unenviable tally of 13 before the season fades out, if the strength of their scheduled opponents is anything to go by. Nevertheless, the team does possess enough quality to accumulate an end-of-season points aggregate that should see them edge their challengers in the end, but only just. Granted, this time last season, the Porcupine Warriors - then handled by current Black Stars' assistant Maxwell Konadu - had the league title wrapped up already, but have been largely inconsistent this time, ambling towards the finish, and yet so have Medeama and Chelsea who have both lost some steam in the last few weeks.

On face value, though, it appears those two sides have kinder fixture lists than the Reds do, enjoying dates with clubs occupying mid-table positions and others ranked even lower. Still, tricky ties exist among those, especially for Medeama who would have to play the likes of Wa All Stars, Dwarfs and New Edubiase, all clubs capable of packing a good surprise on their day, while Chelsea would be required to contend with equally formidable opposition, including three of the sides Kotoko are required to play, as well as a date with the other traditional elite of Ghanaian football in-form Accra Hearts of Oak. That aside, one -or both- of Medeama and Chelsea are certain to lose points when the two clubs clash on May 26, the result of which would be an obvious advantage to Kotoko. And so while the clubs presently ranked first and third on the league standings operate on arguably the biggest budgets to be found among the GPL's 16 clubs and have wealthy bankrollers eager to lay their hands on the title, it would be pretty much foolhardy to write off the ability of Kotoko - arguably the most experienced of the title-contending trio- to ward off the challenge. They certainly have it in them.
UMAR-FAROUK ATIPAGA | DEP. EDITOR, GOAL GHANA

I must admit that choosing among the three main candidates - Berekum Chelsea, Kotoko and Medeama - has been quite tough but after all the thoughts, I think Berekum Chelsea could just be snatching their second premier league title at the end of the season. With five more matches to wrap up the league, the battle at the top looks extremely tight taking into consideration the kind of matches each of the three will be playing. Medeama’s 2-1 home defeat to Liberty last week which threw them away from the spot could end up being the result that would cost them the title. They could, however, make amends when they meet the leaders, Berekum Chelsea in week 27 in Berekum or snatch a result (draw) that will give Kotoko the advantage. But I think Chelsea would end with all three points.

Going through the remaining matches, Chelsea’s big games are against Medeama Sc and Accra Hearts of Oak and getting four points in these two matches will be a huge cushion. Asante Kotoko are well positioned to also grab and defend their title but their penchant for draws even in matches they should have easily won makes for a slight pessimistic analysis of their chances. But for the transfer of players, Kotoko and Berekum Chelsea would have been unmatched throughout the season. 

EDMUND OKAI GYIMAH | GOAL GHANA

With just five games to play in the Ghana Premier League, I think Kumasi Asante Kotoko who are now second on the league log tied on points with third-place Medeama can snatch the title again.

The former continental masters started the season poorly drawing most of their games and in all they have dropped 24 points by drawing 12 games in which wins could have made them to wrap-up the title by now.

From their performance last Sunday, it is evidently clear that the Porcupine Warriors have stepped-up the accelerator and they will be hoping to win their remaining games which is made up of tricky duels against a resurgent Berekum Arsenal side who are yet to lose in their last four games as well as Aduana Stars who are mathematically not out of the race. One thing which can prove to be a bane to the title ambition of Kotoko will be complacency - the players seem to play well against the bigger sides such as Medeama, Hearts of Oak, Chelsea and the rest but struggle when they play the less-fancied clubs even at the Baba Yara Stadium.

Coach Dramani needs to calm the nerves of his players particularly the front liners. One avenue which Kotoko are also not using to get the goals is the height of their Ugandan left-back Joseph Ochaya. He hardly goes to the box to head corner kicks for Kotoko.

Moreover, an in-form Michael Helegbe should always be in the starting 11 if he is fully fit because his huge experience is what the team needs at this crucial moment. This league has no doubt been very close and it is an open secret that the destiny of Kumasi Asante Kotoko lies in their own hands because if they win all their home games they are set to annex the trophy once again.

Do you agree with their views? Let's hear from you too in the comment section below...

Related

From the web