TEAM NEWS: Richard Yamoah and Agbashie Dotse have started full training.
Musah Inusah is doing well on his recovery but remains out for this game.
Winful Cobbinah is on national duty with the Black Stars.
MATCH PREVIEW: Accra Hearts of Oak will play as guests of Elmina Sharks in the match-day 19 of the 2016/17 Ghana Premier League fixture at the Nduom Stadium on Sunday, 25th June 2017.
The Phobians returned to winning ways in the league, whipping Bolga AllStars 4-0 to atone for the harrowing defeat suffered at the hands of WAFA in the previous match-day and so they will be hoping to at least get a winning run started having won their last two games on their first ever visit to the home of Elmina Sharks.
Coach Frank Nuttall’s side beat Accra Young Wise 0-1 to progress to the last 8 of the 2016/17 MTN FA Cup and the team’s focus has switched completely to the upcoming game with Sharks.
“The players trained well and we are just waiting for the players with the local Black Stars to see what condition they are in; what state they are in and after that then I will name my squad and we will be ready for the match,” Nuttall told accraheartsofoaksc.com
Hearts have lost two games on the road (WAFA recently) since the match-day 9 defeat to Berekum Chelsea and have won two and drawn their remaining fixtures away from home in that period. A lone goal victory over Ashgold was the first Hearts away victory in the new season and though they followed that up with a frustrating 3-3 draw away at Bolgatanga, coach Nuttall’s side produced one of the club’s best away performances in recent times beating Liberty 3-0 at the Dansoman Park.
However, they were quickly brought down to earth in Sogakope where they lost by a huge margin to WAFA. With that defeat still fresh in their minds, Team Hearts have resolved to go all out to pick the maximum points against Elmina Sharks on Sunday.
Sharks picked a point in Accra in the first round and were even the first side to draw first blood when the two teams met. It took a special free-kick from Winful Cobbinah to pull Hearts level in a game that ended the club’s impressive home-winning run.
The Elmina-based club has not been able to kick off after that result and just a few days to their game with Hearts, their head coach Joseph Amissah has been asked to go on a two-game leave. But that notwithstanding, Sharks will be highly motivated and recording a victory over Hearts will gone down in their history books as one of their finest moments in their debut topflight season.
Sharks have won five out of their last nine league games at the Nduom Stadium. Aduana Stars (0-1) and WAFA (1-2) are the only sides to beat Sharks at their home whilst Inter Allies (0-0) and Liberty (1-1) have picked up a point each at the venue. Medeama (2-0), Ebusua Dwarfs (1-0), Ashgold (1-0), Berekum Chelsea (2-1), and Tema Youth (2-1) have been beaten by the hosts at the Nduom Stadium.
Coach Frank Nuttall’s side have won nine games from their last 14 games in all competitions. The Phobians have drawn three times in that period and have only lost two games to Berekum Chelsea (1-0) and WAFA (5-0). Within that period, Hearts have been involved in some high-scoring wins Bolga AllStars (4-0), Liberty (0-3), Kotoku Royals (4-0), and Bechem United (4-2) being put to the sword.
Leading goal-scorer Thomas Abbey has not scored in the second round but he has been providing some good assists to the team’s course. He will be hoping to get back on the score-sheet this weekend against a stubborn Elmina Sharks rearguard.
MATCH FACTS: The two sides have met four times in all competitions but this will be their second ever meeting in the league.
Hearts have won three and drawn once against Sharks. The Phobians beat Sharks 4-0 in the FA Cup in the 2011/12 season, 1-0 in the 2014/15 season; and 3-0 in the Elite Cup Competition.
2011/12 HEARTS 4 – 1 ELMINA SHARKS FA CUP
(Godwin Osei Bonsu, Ashitey Ollenu, Mahatma Otoo, Uriah Asante)
2014/15 HEARTS 1 – 0 ELMINA SHARKS FA CUP
(Isaac Oduro (pen.))
2014/15 HEARTS 3 – 0 ELMINA SHARKS ELITE CUP
(Gerald Odupong, Ashitey Ollenu, Kwame Kizito)
2016/17 HEARTS 1 – 1 SHARKS