League Preview: Battle For Survival Intensifies

With the Premier League title race done and dusted, focus will be shifted to the relegation dog-fight and battle for second place on Sunday. Five teams at the bottom of the table are fighting to avoid joining BA Stars in the second-tier league. Real Tamale United, Might Jets, Berekum Arsenals, King Faisal and All Stars all in the sludge. The position of All Stars is not as precarious as RTU and Premier League new boys Might Jets who sit right at the throb of relegation and must conjure some �magic� to stay up. Real Tamale United who have escaped relegation by the whisker in the past two seasons could be the biggest beneficiary on Sunday when they tackle basement side BA Stars at the Tamale Stadium. A win over the Sunyani-based side could ease some sense of hope going into the penultimate and final games in the next 14 days. Allegations of match-fixing and bribery rocked BA Stars� 0-1 home defeat to King Faisal at the Coronation Park. Prediction: RTU win On a busy survival Sunday will see King Faisal take on New Edubiase at the Baba Yara stadium. Faisal managed a thrilling 1-0 away win over BA Stars going into the last three games of the season. They would have been doomed had it not been the away victory at Sunyani on Wednesday and know their destinty to preserve their top flight status lie in their own hands. Edubiase also know they will need to grind out result to maintain their top four ambitions after their home impregnability was grounded to a halt by a resurgence Hearts of Oak side. They shockingly lost the game 2-0 at a venue that they had managed to bag in an amazing 8 Edubiase lads will be eager to repay the investement of club President Abdul Salam Yakuba by pushing for a top -four by the end of the season. Prediction: King Faisal win These are particulary trying times for Berekum Arsenals and their next game will not be centered on pride and bragging efficacy as has been in the case in the past but will be engineered by survival. The Gunners lockhorns in a local derby against champions Berekum Chelsea knowing only victory can aid their survival plans at the Golden City Park. Their washout performance against Ebusua Dwarfs that resulted in the 5-1 mauling at Cape Coast has compounded their misery and the fight to avoid the drop, especially with Mighty Jets breathing down their neck. They will need to pick themselves up and find some inspiration to guard against a fearsome Chelsea side that can afford to give players on the fringes the chance to test their case. They should take advantage and make the most count. But Chelsea coach Orlando Wellignton whose dream is the adventure of next season�s Caf Champions League claims key players will be involved in the game despite their historic league triumph. �We have won the league but don�t not mean we�re going to rest on our owls. We need to keep the winning mentality and therefore won�t be resting players unnecessarily�. Wellignton said. �Of course it�s time to give other players who have not been involved regulary the chance, but we want to end on a flying note.� Prediction: Arsenal win Hearts of Oak are safe and sound after a nervy scare in the season. The former African Champions have endured a difficult campaign that saw changes at the technical bench. Coach Paa Kwesi Fabian was sacked following strings poor results. Hearts lost to Real Tamale United for the first in 33 years on 9 Januay- 7th of the campaign-and that meant he paved way for Serbian tactician Nebojsa Vucicevic despite guiding them to the season�s Pre-season Top four competition. But his appointment didn�t help them get the immediate results as they continued to labour for victory. They slipped into the relegation zone in many years after AshantiGold handed them a narrow 1-0 victory at the Obuasi Len Clay stadium as far back as January. But the side seems to have found their rhythm and back-to-back victories over Ebusua Dwarfs and New Edubiase has allayed the their relegation fears and sit 10th on the league table, six points adrift of the relegation zone. They face an Aduana Stars side that are also eyeing a top four finish after their inability to defend the title they won last year. With just a point buffer between themselves and Medeama SC, the dethroned champions will need to inspire confidene to keep their heads high. The future of head coach Herbert Addo hangs in the balance following a bust-up with the club�s CEO Kofi Manu over player subsititution at Wednesday 1-0 victory over Medeama. Prediction: Hearts of Oak win. Both Ebusua Dwarfs and Heart of Lions are home and dry and will be involve in the elite division next season. While Dwarfs battered Arsenals 5-1 at home, Lions recored an impressive 2-1 away win at Wa against All Stars. Both teams should be buoyed by their breathtaking mid-week results and with just a single point separating the two sides, they will have it all to do at the Kpando Park. There is nothing really to fight for and sharing the spoils will be an ideal result. Prediction: Draw AshantiGold has transformed under Crotian Zdravko Logarusic and has seen their campaign Metamorphosed from a dying regime to now fearsome and vibrant. The Croat who has been credited with guiding King Faisal to safety last season took charge of the club following the departure of �tough-talking� David Duncan. The miners are now neck-to-neck with Asante Kotoko for the second spot on the league table with three games remaining in the top flight and current form means All Stars have a daunting task on hand at the Len Clay Stadium. All Stars have put up plucky displays in the league this season but will need to get the maximum points to ensure safety. Prediction: Draw Asante Kotoko�s return to the Accra stadium the last time out was a commanding 2-0 victory over perennial foes Hearts of Oak. The Porcupine Warriors have hit top shape under Serbian Bogdan Korak and the showdown with new boys Mighty Jets will be a delight to watch. Jets will play the game in the capital after the Ghana Football Association grantd their request to have the game moved from Akosombo. They claim their venue is not big enough to contain the huge travelling Kotoko supporters. They gave their relegation fight a massive boost with a well-worked 1-0 victory over Liberty Professionals at the Karl Reindorf Park in mid-week courtesy Aaron Amoah�s 5th minute strike. Kotoko will want to consolidate their second spot on the league table, with Jets keen to avoid the drop in their debut season. Prediction: Draw Liberty Profesionals enjoyed a steady improvement following their early turmoil in the league and they face a difficult trip to Medeama SC at the T & A Park. Medeama will move into the top-four if Aduana Stars slip at Accra and so know they need to negotiate their tie before expecting any favours from Heart of Oak.