Accra Hearts of Oak will be looking to make their first appearance in the CAF Champions League group stage for the first time in 15 years and would also be aiming to lay hold of the trophy they last won two decades ago.
The Ghanaian giants hold a slim one-goal lead heading to the second leg today in Morroco thanks to Isaac Mensah’s first-half goal in Accra a week ago.
Hearts of oak will aim to win the match but a draw would be enough to secure passage through to the next stage. However, given that north African sides have often shown their dominance in the competition and Wydad knowing that a win is all that they need to get through to the next stage would pose a big task for the Phobians to manage.
Samuel Boadu is known for his in-game management which enables him to tinker tactics during the game to contain or handle an opponent and he would need that very much today if he is to have a chance of continuing his merry time with the Rainbow club.
In the post-match, Walid Regragui was very positive of his side’s chances against the Phobians when they meet in Morroco and he was also confident that with the home support, they would be unstoppable against Hearts of Oak. Though they will play without supporters in the stadium, the sense of feeling at home alone is a plus for them.
Several enthusiasts have already warned Samuel Boadu and his charges to be wary of the mental side of the game with the Covid-19 pandemic creating a loophole for certain teams in Africa to take the chance of. Last season, Kumasi Asante Kotoko suffered from that loophole, though they also somewhat benefitted from it. It could be a knockout blow if Hearts got there and ahead of the match, they are told a couple of their key men returned positive Covid-19 results.
The Phobians would need to be very prepared for such an outcome.
Aside from that, the Phobians have no difficulties with regard to selection and should be ready to strike at full force in Morroco against Wydad. Two of their players in Emmanuel Nettey and Frederick Ansah Botchwey picked yellow cards in the previous game and would have to be careful now that they are playing away from home.
We at myactiveonline think Hearts of Oak will go all out to fight for a win and would not make any changes to the set-up that secured the one-nil win last week. We expect Kofi Kordzi to lead the lines and be supported by Ibrahim Salifu, Isaac Mensah and Afriyie Barnieh.
Richard Attah will retain his place between the sticks as has always been for a long time. He will be shielded by Robert Addo and Mohammed Alhassan in central defence with Raddy Ovuoka and Fatawu Mohammed providing cover in the flanks.
Emmanuel Nettey and Ansah Botchwey are expected to also retain their partnership in the middle of the park, providing the link between attack and defence and as well neutralizing the attacking threats of the North Africans.
Hearts Of Oak predicted XI: Richard Attah, Fatawu Mohammed, Robert Addo, Mohammed Alhassan, Raddy Ovuoka, Emmanuel Nettey, Frederick Ansah Botchwey, Ibrahim Salifu, Isaac Mensah, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh, Kofi Kordzi.