Seydou Zerbo v Amadou Sampo : Rail Club de Kadiogo play host to Asante Kotoko on Monday evening at the the Stade de l’Amitié Général Mathieu Kérékou in Cotonou during the first leg of the CAF Champions League preliminary round.
The fixture is between a Burkina Faso side and Ghanaian football team but the men in the technical areas are all Burkinabes – Sampo for Rail Club de Kadiogo and Zerbo for Asante Kotoko.
The game kicks off 16 : 00 GMT on Monday and in Ghana Sports Market’s comprehensive preview of the match we speak to Burkinabe journalist Hachim Abdallah.
Abdallah , who works with Noorinfos.com one of the top news websites of Burkina Faso , provides us with all the analysis of the match mostly from the perspective of Rail Club de Kadiogo and the two Burkinabe coaches.
Ghana Sports Market : Hachim first of all let’s begin our discussion on the draw. How do people in Burkina Faso see the Champions League tie between Rail Club de Kadiogo and Asante Kotoko ?
Hachim Abdallah : The match between Rail Club of Kadiogo (RCK) and Asante Kotoko can be perceived as a West African derby, and a challenging match. Battles, both for clubs and for coaches. That’s how many people see it here.
First of all, these are two historical clubs in their respective countries who want to give themselves a new start on the continental chessboard, even if Asante Kotoko has a brilliant track record on the continent with two African Cups of Champion Clubs won in 1970 and in 1983.
Ghana Sports Market : You mentioned the club battles. What about the coaches ?
Hachim Abdallah : Yes the other key challenge is between the coaches. Seydou Zerbo a.k.a Krol recently brought in as head coach of Asante Kotoko is handed a baptism of fire in this preliminary round of the CAF Champions League.
By advancing to the next round, the Burkinabè technician would have justified the choice of his leaders that they were did not make any mistake about him, even if he comes out of a difficult pre-season ( in Sudan ).
On the other hand, he will face his younger brother Amadou Sampo, recent champion of Burkina Faso with the Rail Club de Kadiogo, who has great ambitions for Africa, and intends to take advantage of this platform to assert himself.
The other big challenge faced by coach Sampo is the fact of receiving his opponents outside Burkina Faso.
Ghana Sports Market : Do you think the neutral venue affect Sampo and Rail Club de Kadiogo ?
Hachim Abdallah : Without being a performance indicator in modern football, Burkinabe clubs are struggling to find their football outside their bases. But in view of their young international experience with the junior stallions, and recently with the Stallions , Amadou should do better than just participating.
Also, he can count on the experience of his captain, Aboubacar Sawadogo, Burkinabè international, and goalkeeper of the Stallions, without forgetting the genius of Aboubacar Sidiki Traoré in the middle sector, who boasts of three group stages appearances of the CAF Cup with more than 20 matches under his belt.
Also Cédric Kabore, who has the heavy responsibility of leading the defence of the Falcons with confidence in view of his experience with the small categories and in the local selection for having played in the 2021 CHAN playoffs against Ghana.
Ghana Sports Market : Seydou Zerbo has moved out of his comfort zone to take the big job of Asante Kotoko. Do you think he will succeed in Ghana?
Hachim Abdallah : Let me say that the other dreaded opponent in this double confrontation is the rich experience of Seydou Zerbo Krol who is the main coach at Asante Kotoko. A great connoisseur of local Burkinabè football, with more than 20 years of career as a coach, two Burkina elite championship titles won, and a CHAN finals appearance in 2021. The man has a strong character and loves knockout matches , the reason why he is reputed and nicknamed “fire-fighter” of the Burkinabè championship.
Krol has a tactical culture built on discipline, rigor, and self-sacrifice without playing beautiful football.
Ghana Sports Market : Your favourite team to advance ?
Hachim Abdallah : With the elements I mentioned earlier put together, with the talents that Ghanaian football abounds in, made of fast plays and short passes, Zerbo is capable of carrying the Asante club back to its glory years and to succeed in this new challenge which is offered to him outside Burkina.
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