What you need to know:
- Focus will be at Nyayo where three points and bragging rights will be at stake as Gor and Leopards clash
- AFC Leopards Belgium coach Patrick Aussems and Irish Coach Johnathan McKinstry will have to outdo each other tactically for either side to bag maximum points
- McKinstry said he is optimistic of getting a win in his first Mashemeji Derby but warned his charges to be wary of Leopards despite boasting of a good record over them
Will AFC Leopards end their seven-year jinx against arch-rivals Gor Mahia?
The answer will be known this Sunday when the two giants face off in the 95th Mashemeji Derby at Nyayo National Stadium from 3pm.
On Saturday, Football Kenya Federation Premier League leaders Tusker clash with Kenya Police at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani as the season enters Round 13. Nzoia Sugar, who are level on 24 points with Tusker but have an inferior goal difference, visit Ulinzi Stars at Ulinzi Sports Complex in Lang'ata Barracks, Nairobi.
There will be five other fixtures across different venues on Saturday with third-placed KCB also in action against Wazito at Muhoroni Stadium in Kisumu County.
Apart from the derby, the only other tie on Sunday, will see Bandari host Nairobi City Stars at Mbaraki Grounds in Mombasa.
However, focus will be at Nyayo where three points and bragging rights will be at stake as Gor and Leopards clash. The two clubs have met 94 times with Gor reigning supreme on 34 occasions, Ingwe 28 times while 32 ties have ended in draws.
The two clubs, who have with 32 league titles between them, meet after recording convincing wins in their respective midweek fixtures.
The Big Cats beat a star-studded Kenya Police by a solitary goal at Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday while K’Ogalo thrashed sorry FC Talanta 3-0 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Thursday.
Both sides head into the derby having won their past two matches. K’Ogalo, who are 19-time champions are third on the log on 23 points with two games in hand while Leopards are seventh on 17 points.
The last time AFC Leopards beat Gor Mahia was in 2016 in a second leg league match. Ivorian forward Lamine Diallo scored a late goal in the second half to set thousands of Ingwe fans at Kasarani in a frenzy mood.
Last season, Gor won the first leg 1-0 while the second leg ended in a 1-1 draw.
AFC Leopards Belgium coach Patrick Aussems and Irish Coach Johnathan McKinstry will have to outdo each other tactically for either side to bag maximum points.
K’Ogalo will be banking on red-hot striker Benson Omala, who has so far bagged 10 goals and leads the Golden Boot race, to punish their opponents. On the other hand, Nigerian import Ojo Olaniyi is also in good form and leads Ingwe's goal scoring chart with six goals.
McKinstry said he is optimistic of getting a win in his first Mashemeji Derby but warned his charges to be wary of Leopards despite boasting of a good record over them.
“AFC Leopards have won the last three games and we have also won our matches. We have good form but we have to do more on Sunday in a game I know will be very tough. Everyone knows the importance of the derby and even if we have a good history over them, that doesn’t score goals. What we do on the pitch is what will count,” said McKinstry.
His opposite number Patrick Aussems has also promised Gor Mahia a fierce battle on the pitch.
“It is a big game for us and a special one for the fans. It is like any other game but we have to give our fans a win because it is long since we beat Gor Mahia,” said the 57 years old coach.
A win for Gor will see them go top especially if Tusker and Nzoia Sugar stumble this weekend.
Meanwhile, tickets for the derby will retail at Sh300 (terraces) and Sh1,000 (VIP).
According to AFC Leopards Secretary-General, Gilbert Andugu, tickets will be sold at Kenya Cinema (CBD), Riadha House, Nyayo Stadium Police station, Nyayo Stadium parking area from 10am on match day.
He added that no projectiles will be allowed inside the stadium as rigorous frisking will start right from the gate.
“We have enough GSU personnel, regular police and stewards from both teams to help in maintaining peace,” said Andugu.
He said Gor Mahia fans will use Gate 2 to access the terraces, while their VIP fans will use Gate A. AFC Leopards fans will use Gate 10 to reach the terraces while their VIP fans will access the stadium through Gate B.
He said the standby gates are 8 and 3. Teams will use Gate 9 while the ambulance will use Gate 11 as the VVIP entrance will be left for special guests.
Fixture (Kick-off 3pm unless stated)
Posta Rangers v FC Talanta (Thika)
Mathare United vs Kakamega Homeboyz (Utalii Grounds)
Kariobangi Sharks v Bidco( Kasarani Annex 1pm)
Sofapaka v Vihiga Bullets ( Kasarani Annex 3.15pm)
Wazito v KCB (Muhoroni)
Ulinzi Stars v Nzoia Sugar( Ulinzi Sports Complex)
Kenya Police v Tusker (Kasarani)
Bandari v Nairobi City Stars (Mbaraki)
AFC Leopards v Gor Mahia (Nyayo)