Kumasi Asante Kotoko SC, Ghana’s sole participants in this year’s Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Confederations Cup competition, would seek to make amends in their second group game against Zesco United, at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Wednesday in Kumasi.
The record Ghana Premier League champions face what is expected to be a tricky duel against Zambian champions Zesco United, who also tops Group C after match day one.
The match would be the first group game Kotoko play in front of their unfaltering home fans in this season’s Confederation Cup and would relish the home advantage.
Kotoko form, team news and probable line-up
Asante Kotoko lost by a goal to nil to Sudanese side Al Hilal Omdurman away in Khartoum, which puts them in third position in the Group C standings.
The Porcupines Warriors would be motivated at their favourite grounds to boost their chances of qualifying from the group, winning their first three points of the group on Wednesday afternoon.
The home team, have won their last two home matches in the CAF Confederation Cup campaign, scoring four and conceding two in the process.
The Porcupine Warriors have signed Ivorian striker Dany Zabo Teguy from Swanzi Premier League side Manzini Wanderers and Ashgold’s former defender Habib Mohammed, both on a three-year deal to bolster their squad for the competition.
But according to Charles Kwabena Akunnor, the head coach of Kotoko, the multiple African champions would go into the game without their Ivorian Dany Zabo, because the player would need time to adjust to the Fabulous philosophy.
With the exception of the new striker, Kotoko has no injury worries as the rest of the players would be available for selection.
Burkinabe striker, Sogne Yocouba is likely to lead the attack forming a triumvirate with Emmanuel Gyamfi and Maxwell Baako assisting him on the flanks.
Midfielders Kwame Bonsu and Richard Senanu are expected to continue with their solid partnership base in midfield, as the home side sets of on a mission to win to boost their qualification chances.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Felix Annan, Amos Frimpong (C), Augustine Sefah, Ganiu Ishmael, Aggeman Badu, Richard Senenu, Kwame Bonsu, Maxwell Baako, Emmanuel Gyamfi, Abdul Fatau and Sougne Yacouba.
ZESCO United form, team news and probable lineup
Standing the way of Kotoko and three points is the group leaders Zesco United. Zesco United humbled their country rivals Nkana FC, 2-0 at home on match day one to top Group C.
The seven times Zambian Premiere league champions, have won their last three matches in the CAF Confederation Cup campaign this season, including impressive home and away victories over South African giants Kaizer Chiefs in the play-off of the competition.
Zesco boasts of a prolific attack, who have scored seven goals in their last three games in the competition and conceded two.
Zesco are a strong side when they travel to this part of the continent, having gone unbeaten in their last five visits to West African in all competitions, scoring 10 and conceding six.
But the away side lost 2-0 to Medeama SC in their last visit to Ghana in 2014 in the same competition.
The Zega Mambo would be without their newly signed Japanese midfielder Kosuke Nakamachi who joined the club on Friday with similar reasons as Teguy.
Star striker Lazarous Kambole would look to continue with his impressive form in attack with support from John Chingandu, Jesse Were and Quadri Aladeokum as the away side looks forward to frustrating the Porcupine Warrior to maintain their lead on the table.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1) : Dieudonne Ntibahezwa, Simon Silwimba, Clement Mwape, David Owino, Mwila Phiri, Anthony Akunu, Kondwani Mtonga, Quadri Aladeokum, John Chingandu, Jesse Were and Lazarous Kambole.
The game was initially scheduled to start at 13:00 GMT on Wednesday, but has been rescheduled to 16:00 GMT following a request by the home side to CAF.
The other group game would be played on Wednesday as another Zambian side, Nkana FC host Al Hilal from Sudan 16:00 GMT at the Nkana Stadium, in Kitwe.