What you need to know:
- Gor Mahia not in action.
- Western Stima also come up against title-chasing Mathare at MISC Kasarani.
AFC Leopards will on Saturday face another stern test against former champions Tusker in the SportPesa Premier League as they look to build on last weekend’s success.
Leopards beat Sony Sugar 1-0 at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega last Sunday to break a losing streak that had spanned six matches, and they now need to win today at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos to steer clear of the relegation zone.
Western Stima will be in Nairobi to play title-chasing Mathare United at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, while domestic cup holders Kariobangi Sharks will face besieged Posta Rangers in Machakos from 2pm.
Defending champions Gor Mahia have been exempted from this weekend’s schedule due to their Sunday match against Zamalek in the Caf Confederation Cup away in Egypt.
Saturday’s will be the final round of matches before the mid-season transfer window opens to allow clubs strengthen their squads.
Leopards coach Andre Csasa Mbungo has been waiting impatiently for the opening of the transfer window, and he is said to be eyeing a number of players, among them Kenyan international David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng.
For now though, the Rwandan tactician will have to contend with a long list of injuries, and start with the blunt attacking team of Marcel Kaheza and Wayi Yeka and Eugene Mukangula. Captain Robinson Kamura will once more stand in the four-man defence that also has utility Dennis Sikhayi, Isaac Kipyegon and Salim Abdalla, as Whyvonne Isuza marshals the team’s midfield.
“The win last weekend shows that there is still hope. There are challenges in every sphere of life, and as a club we are going through challenges, but we are focused on picking ourselves up one game at a time,” Kamura told Nation Sport.
Tusker have endured a poor run in February, winning just one of their five games and they welcomed the month of March with expectant relief. There was no reprieve for them, however, as they fell to a 1-0 defeat in their first match of March last Sunday against Nzoia Sugar in Sudi.
This is the backdrop with which the 11-time champions will approach today’s match against Ingwe, making for a potentially thrilling clash for supporters of both clubs.
Emery Mvuyekure has emerged the first-choice goalkeeper for Tusker, although the team is struggling with a shaky defence that has Marlone Tangauzi, Erick Ambunya, Hillary Wandera and Lloyd Wahome.
“We have prepared well. It is not about winning or losing. It is about giving our best performance. If the strikers convert chances then we shall have no problem,” said a bullish Matano.
Posta Rangers v Kariobangi Sharks (Machakos), Chemelil Sugar v Sofapaka (both 2pm), Sony Sugar v Mount Kenya United, Mathare United v Western Stima (both 3pm), Tusker v AFC Leopards (Machakos, 4:15pm)
Ulinzi Stars v Bandari (Afraha), KCB v Nzoia Sugar, Vihiga United v Zoo (all 3pm)