TEAM NEWS: Richard Yamoah (knee), Malik Akowuah (ankle), Kassenu Ghandy (foot), and Robin Gnagne (groin) have resumed full training and are in contention for a return to the squad for this clash with WAFA.

MATCH PREVIEW: Accra Hearts of Oak will host West African Football Academy (WAFA) in the penultimate game of the first round of the 2016/17 Ghana Premier League at the Accra Sports Stadium on Monday, 8th May, 2017.

The Phobians will have to go all out to beat WAFA in order to close the gap created atop the 2016/17 Ghana Premier League table by the Academy boys on Monday.

Hearts missed back-to-back opportunities against recently promoted sides to bridge the gap with the runner-away leaders of the new season, WAFA, drawing 1-1 at home with Elmina Sharks and throwing away leads before gaining a 3-3 draw with Bolga AllStars in the last match-day.

Coach Frank Nuttall’s side have been near-perfect at home in the new season having won four and drawn two games at the Accra Sports Stadium. The Phobians are slowly making the Accra Sports Stadium a fortress again and they have to beat WAFA to confirm the new trend. With comfortable wins over Bechem United (4-2), morale-boosting triumphs over Wa AllStars (2-1), bragging rights victories over Kotoko (1-0), and slim wins over Olympics (2-1) coming at home, adding pace-setting WAFA’s scalp will be the best yet far for the Phobians.

Hearts coach Frank Nuttall took an ephemeral trip back home and missed our 3-1 victory over Kotoko but he’s scheduled to return before our game with WAFA. In his absence, assistant coach Henry Wellington Lamptey, led the team to the second victory over the Porcupines in 2017.

“We should have time and exercise patience for our players and I know most of them did not start well but I can see that most of them are coming up and they are doing fine,” the Hearts assistant told Hearts News in his pre-match briefing.

 “I know the fans want us to do better than what we are doing but I will assure them that things will improve; we thank the fans massively for their support. The fans applauded every tackle, they applauded every pass, and they were really up for the game and they pushed us to win the game so they should exercise patience for us. We will do it for them.”

WAFA have been outstanding in the new season having won nine, drawn two, and lost only two times after match-day 13. The highflying Sogakope-based side have won three, drawn once, and lost twice on the road this season. Amazingly, the three victories WAFA have chalked on the road have come against defending league champions Wa AllStars (1-4), defending FA Cup champions Bechem United (0-1) and promoted side Elmina Sharks (0-1). 

Last season, the Academy boys humiliated Hearts with a 3-0 spanking in Sogakope with all the goals coming before the half-hour mark, but the Phobians have vowed to reverse that result when WAFA trek to Accra on Monday.

MATCH FACTS: The two sides have 10 times in the league since WAFA’s (formerly Gomoah Fetteh Feyenoord) promotion in 2004.

The Phobians have triumphed six times, drawn three and lost only one game to the Academy boys.

18 goals have been scored in this fixture and Hearts lead the way by a dozen goals to WAFA’s six.

 Head-to-head

SEASON/RESULT

2004       Feyenoord 0 – 1 Hearts

                Hearts 3 – 0 Feyenoord

2005/6  Hearts 2 – 1 Feyenoord

                Feyenoord 0 – 0 Hearts

2006/7 Hearts 2 – 1 Feyenoord

                Feyenoord 0 – 2 Hearts

2014/15 Hearts 1 – 0 Feyenoord

                  Feyenoord 0 – 0 Hearts

2015/16 Hearts 1 – 1 Feyenoord

                  Feyenoord 3 – 0 Hearts