What you need to know:
- This season will see a new winner crowned after Kakamega Homeboyz eliminated holders Gor Mahia in the Round of 16 on April 2
- Ingwe v Homeboyz match could go either way depending on the tactics which will be deployed by Belgium coach Patrick Aussems and his opposite number Patrick Odhiambo
- Ulinzi Stars midfielder Boniface Muchiri, a former Tusker player, says he is ready to face his former side and believes they can make it to the final
AFC Leopards and Kakamega Homeboyz will renew rivalry on Saturday in the Mozzart Bet Cup semi-finals at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.
The game will kick off at 3.15pm. It will be preceded by another equally tough clash between Tusker and Ulinzi Stars at the same venue from 1pm.
The four teams are eyeing the domestic cup and a ticket to the Caf Confederation Cup next season. Also at stake is the Sh2 million prize money for the winners.
However, the runners-up, third place finishers and fourth-placed team will take home Sh1 million, Sh750,000 and Sh500,000 respectively.
This season will see a new winner crowned after Kakamega Homeboyz eliminated holders Gor Mahia in the Round of 16 on April 2.
With competition in the Football Kenya Federation Premier League boiling up, runners-up in the Mozzart Bet Cup could represent the country in Caf Confederation Cup next season if Tusker win a double.
The brewers are involved in a neck-and-neck battle with Gor Mahia for the league title with only a point separating the two sides just four matches to the end of the season.
Tusker have garnered 64 points while Gor have 63. The two sides clash next Sunday in a game which will likely determine the league champion.
Leopards and Kakamega Homeboyz is a high stakes encounter and Ingwe fans have promised to fill the stadium to capacity to cheer their team against their Western-based rivals.
The second leg league clash between the two sides on April 16 at Bukhungu Stadium aborted due to crowd trouble. Consequently, the federation docked Leopards three points, directed their four home games to be played behind closed doors and fined the club Sh500,000.
Ingwe v Homeboyz match could go either way depending on the tactics which will be deployed by Belgium coach Patrick Aussems and his opposite number Patrick Odhiambo. Homeboyz have not beaten Ingwe since August 22, 2018 when they won 3-2.
Leopards have a solid midfield marshalled by defensive midfielder Musa 0undo while captain Eugene Mukangula is likely to start in number 10 position. However, Giovanni Lukhumwa who played the entire 90 minutes in the Mashemeji Derby and managed to outwit Gor Mahia’s Austin Odhiambo will likely miss out in the starting line up since Brian Wanyama who was suspended is set to return.
Nigerian forward Ojo Olaniyi, who also missed the derby due to suspension and has netted nine goals for Ingwe this season, will also be back for the Homeboyz clash. The partnership between Washington Munene and Peter Thiong'o in defence was top notch against Gor and is likely to remain unchanged.
“This is the cup we have been focusing on and I believe we shall give it our all. We have been using the league matches for training and now it is time for action,” said AFC Leopards coach Patrick Aussems.
Homeboyz goalkeeper Farouk Shikhalo will have to reduce his howlers if he is to lock out the sharp Leopards attack. The Kakamega-based side have been unpredictable this season but some of the players to watch will be Moses Mudavadi, evergreen Ali Bhai, Ambrose Sifuna and Enock ‘Jowi’ Agwanda.
If Tusker beat Ulinzi Stars, then their chances of bagging a double will remain alive. The last four matches between them have ended in a draw. Tusker last beat Ulinzi Stars 2-0 in February 2022. On the other hand, the soldiers last won against the brewers on October 29, 2019.
Ulinzi Stars midfielder Boniface Muchiri, a former Tusker player, says he is ready to face his former side and believes they can make it to the final.
Tusker v Ulinzi Stars (Nyayo, 1pm)
AFC Leopards v Kakamega Homeboyz (Nyayo, 3.15 pm)