This fixture encapsulates everything a top-liner should be about, and both clubs — Aduana Stars and Medeama — will be raring to go when they do battle on Sunday.
Having improved the quality and depth of their squad with an impressive recruitment strategy in the mid-season transfer window, Medeama finally look ready to live up to their tag as title favourites.
And there could be no better way to underline those credentials than by beating the reigning champions; a double, if they can manage it, following a first-round victory over Aduana in Tarkwa.
Aduana, of course, haven’t been their usually formidable selves this season, suffering heavy defeats on the road. It’s why they aren’t so high on the table, with their crown slipping following each fresh setback, but the Ogyamma appear to have found some momentum.
With two victories from their last two games to build on, Aduana would be looking to win a third match on the bounce for the first time this season, and they’d certainly be boosted by Thursday’s stunning comeback win on the road over Accra Great Olympics.
Not that Aduana need any extra inspiration to win games at home, however. They’ve always been formidable at their Nana Agyemang Badu I Park, and would feel especially confident against a team that hardly ever takes any points away from Dormaa.
Still, Medeama would be keen, and quite well-equipped, to take the game to Aduana. Yaw Preko, their recently appointed head coach, has gradually evolved the team away from their old counter-attacking approach to a style that is more possession-oriented.
That new system hinges on midfielder Rashid Nortey, the fresh Black Stars invitee. Medeama do boast a formidable centre-back pairing in Ibrahim Yaro and Vincent Atingah, while relying on the power of Prince Opoku Agyemang and Ahmed Toure upfront, but it is the graceful Nortey who regulates all the gears.
Aduana would seriously test the 25-year-old’s ability to handle pressure, to control a game with his passing, and to pick a lock. Packing bodies into the middle of the pitch to stifle Nortey’s creativity would be crucial to achieving it, but that strategy shouldn’t drain their own attacking juices.
If recent games have taught us anything about Aduana, it is that — despite the continued absence of injured front-man Yahaya Mohammed — they still have goals in them.
Both clubs require the win for different reasons, though a positive result would mean the same to each set of fans. And with plenty of gripping sub-plots to look forward to for the neutral spectator, the latest meeting between the two clubs promises to be everything it has proved in recent years.
Godfred Budu Yeboah — Ink & Kicks