The Kumasi derby will be played out on SuperSport 9 at 6PM on Sunday and Kotoko are keen to put their best foot forward for a continental audience.
The game is also one between two sides who have had contrasting starts to the present season.
The Porcupine Warriors are just a point off the top in the Premier League with a game in hand. King Faisal have had a more difficult start. Coach Momo Medic is gone, one of their most prized assets, defender Daniel Addo did not sign a contract extension, and the club are second from bottom with a mere four points from their seven games.
The Kotoko meeting could therefore have not come at a worse time for Alhaji Grunsah’s side, but like most derbies, this is a game that has not always respected the form guide.
But Kotoko coach Ebo Mends is taking nothing for granted and insists that despite their poor start, Faisal will still be tough customers to beat for the Porcupine Warriors.
“You are as good as your last game so we have to be more concerned about how well we will play on Sunday and not how poorly Faisal have played over the opening weeks of the league,” he says.
Mends is urging his team to fight till the final whistle which is inevitably the same thing that Faisal coach Henry Wellington will be preaching.
The omens though are not good for Faisal. They have won only one league game against Kotoko in the last five years. A win for Kotoko could take them top depending on the outcome of the games involving Berekum Chelsea and Kessben FC.
Leaders Kessben FC are at home to BA Stars, while Chelsea make the short journey to Bekwai to face New Edubiase. Hearts of Oak are at home to high flying Wa All Stars, while Kpandu Heart of Lions and AshantiGold clash in one of the most thrilling pairings of the weekend in Kpandu.
Aduana Stars will be looking to bounce back from their only defeat so far when they play Ebusua Dwarfs. Real Tamale United are seeking to lift themselves from the bottom of the table at home to Liberty Professionals while Berekum Arsenals need all three points against Tudu Mighty Jets both of whom are struggling at the wrong end of the table.