BLISTERING finisher and leading goal poacher in the CAF Champions League, Emmanuel Clottey, will once again be the delightful piece of work expected to dazzle before a crowd-less Cairo International Stadium in Egypt today.
Clotteyâ€™s Berekum Chelsea dare the Egyptian giants and leaders Al Ahly in a sweltering Group B clash, expecting to produce a pleasurable upshot over a side whose fans have been prohibited from watching the game.
Competitive domestic football was banned after 74 people died on February 1, this year, in post-match rioting following a league fixture between Al Masry and Ahly in Port Said.
This incident, coupled with on-going post-Arab spring political tensions in the vast Arab nation, led the interior ministry to refuse permission for the 2012-2013 domestic season to kick off this August.
However, World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers involving the national team and Confederation of African Football club fixtures involving Ahly, Zamalek and ENPPI have been permitted, but without spectators.
In spite of the chastisement, the six-time African champions Al Ahly proceeded to defeat TP Mazembe and Zamalek at empty stadia â€“ corroborating the assertion by some pundits that the Egyptian juggernauts may have lost the money at the gates â€“ but not the elegance and poise of their football.
However, Chelsea chief trainer Han Van Der Plyuim says the ban on stadium attendance in Egypt will be an added advantage to his team going into the final round of matches in the first half of the group stage.
Chelsea currently lie second in Group B with four points, two adrift current leader Al Ahly who have won both opening games.
No matter how one sees it, todayâ€™s game is expected to generate an amperage of thrill and sheer ferocity with battered bodies expected to litter the lush field.
But the tournamentâ€™s lead scorer of 11 goals, Clottey, believes the task is surmountable.
â€śI go into every match wanting to score a goal and I think it wonâ€™t be any different from the game against Al Ahly,â€ť Clottey declared, insisting his 18-goal tally aspiration is on track.
Indeed, Clottey produced a piece of football wizardry a fortnight ago against TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi as he struck two stunning second half goals to draw 2-2 with the four-time champions.
Ahly are aware of the danger the Berekum warriors pose and have impressed on the Egypt FA to release its dynamic duo of Abu-Treika and Meteb from the Olympics ahead of the crunch game.
As of Thursday, the club's request appears bright, but Chelsea are up to the task.
The only source of worry for many Ghanaians is the backline of the Blues. It looks quite scrawny and insubstantial in the face of attack. But once that is sorted out, Chelsea should return home tomorrow with their heads held high.
Goalkeeper Ernest Sowah was amazing in the Mazembe game and he is anticipated to prove another bulwark with his defencemen - Edward Kpodo, Richard Kissi Boateng, Owusu Jackson and Samuel Kyere giving him consummate protection.
A burly midfielder of Abdul Basit, Solomon Asante and Gladson Awako, would also be expected to provide the right services to Clottey, Jordan Opoku and Ibrahim Issaka, to put the pressure on the Egyptian champions.
The nationâ€™s spirit is all-too low at the moment and many will call on Chelsea to make the nation swollen with pride and rekindle the spirits of depressed Ghanaians.