Asante Kotoko’s forward, Franck Mbella Etouga’s form could be crucial in Sunday’s Ghana Premier League Super Clash against Hearts of Oak after scoring 11 goals for his side in 10 matches.
Etouga has taken the league by storm after netting yet another hat-trick for Kotoko in a 3-1 victory over Accra Lions at the Baba Yara Stadium last Saturday to jump into the lead in the goal-king race. He is two goals adrift of his closest rival, Bright Adjei of Aduana Stars who also scored a hat-trick in a 3-0 win against Techiman Eleven Wonders at Dormaa-Ahenkro yesterday.
The Camerounian first hit hat-trick in Kotoko's 3-1 win against Ashantigold in Kumasi on January 9.
Kotoko coach Prosper Ogum Narteh will rely heavily on his in-form striker as the Porcupine Warriors prepare to meet their age-old rivals Hearts in the league's most-anticipated clash which was originally fixed for December 12, 2021 but postponed as a result of Hearts' CAF Champions League campaign.
Etouga could be the man to worry the Phobians on account of his impressive scoring rate in recent times and he if he continues this way, he could be on course to become the first player after Ishmael Addo to score 20 goals or more in the top flight.
Kotoko's 20-year-old star has scored against the Real Tamale United (RTU), Legon Cities, Ashantigold, Great Olympics and Accra Lions since joining the Porcupine Warriors at the beginning of the season.
However, that form would be tested against an inconsistent Hearts side that are struggling to win consecutive matches, after Coach Samuel Boadu's side played a scoreless draw against RTU at the Aliu Mahama Stadium yesterday.
The Porcupine Warriors have a three-point lead on the league log with a game in hand and remain favourites going into Sunday's super clash. But Hearts, eighth on the log and trail their rivals by 12 points, will have to make a big statement on Sunday if they are to revive their title hopes.
While Hearts failed to beat RTU away from home, their city rivals Great Olympics managed a narrow 1-0 win over Elmina Sharks at the Accra Stadium yesterday to move up to the third position on the log.
WAFA lost by a lone goal to Karela United at the Sogakope Park, while Bibiani Goldstars forced a 2-2 draw away at Obuasi against Ashantigold.
Aduana Stars earned a comfortable 3-0 victory over Eleven Wonders at Dormaa-Ahenkro to maintain the second position on the league table.
Dreams FC’s match with Medeama was postponed.