What you need to know:
- Leopards are in 13th place on three points, while Shabana are second from bottom with two points.
- Okoth threatened to resign after the team conceded another last-minute goal last weekend in their 1-0 loss to Kariobangi Sharks at the Raila Odinga Stadium in Homa Bay.
Struggling AFC Leopards and Shabana will rekindle their rivalry dating back to decades when they clash in the Football Kenya Federation Premier League at Ulinzi Sports Complex on Sunday.
Four matches are on the cards on Saturday and another four on Sunday as the league enters the fifth round.
Leopards, winless this season, will be hoping to kick-start their campaign with victory over the league returnees. Shabana last played in the Kenyan football topflight league 17 years ago before they were promoted last season.
Leopards coach Tom Juma and his Shabana counterpart Sammy Okoth are under massive pressure from their vocal fan bases as both clubs are struggling in the bottom end of the standings.
Leopards are in 13th place on three points, while Shabana are second from bottom with two points.
Okoth threatened to resign after the team conceded another last-minute goal last weekend in their 1-0 loss to Kariobangi Sharks at the Raila Odinga Stadium in Homa Bay.
Okoth has since reconsidered his stand and will be in the dug out for the clash away to Leopards.
Conceding at the added time has been the order of the day for Shabana since their return to the league.
They have conceded all goals in the dying minutes in the four matches they have played.
Shabana conceded at the death when they lost 1-0 to Murang’a Seal in their league opener on August 27, then allowed FC Talanta to equalise late on in their 1-1 draw at Nyayo National Stadium on September 1. They also conceded a late equaliser in their 1-1 draw against Kenya Police at Raila Odinga Stadium on September 16.
“The game against AFC Leopards wouldn't be easy but we have to fight and keep our heads high. On the issue of conceding in added time, we have talked to the players because it is really hurting our fans. We have to build our confidence," said Okoth.
For Juma, the going has been frosty with a section of Leopards fans calling for his resignation in the last three matches.
Leopards thought they had bagged their first win of the season last season before South Sudanese import Rashid Toha scored deep into injury time to help Kenya Police secure a 2-2 draw at Kasarani.
Leopards have played out to a barren draw against FC Talanta and Muhoroni Youth this season and lost 1-0 to KCB on September 1.
“It was disappointing to draw against Kenya Police after we played and outclassed them In the entire game. At Leopards, we are currently building a formidable team after signing many players and our focus is on beating Shabana to get our first win," said Juma.
In the other matches, champions Gor Mahia face a stern test when they play rejuvenated KCB on Sunday at Nyayo National Stadium.
League leaders Posta Rangers, who have 10 points, will hope to continue with the good start to the season when they visit Kariobangi Sharks at Kasarani Annex on Saturday from 3pm.
The match will be preceded by a 1pm kick-off pitting Sofapaka against Nairobi City Stars at the same venue.
Zdravko Logarusic will make his bow as Kenya Police FC coach when the winless law enforcers face Bidco United at their Police Sacco Stadium backyard.
The former Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards has been brought on board to help turn around the fortunes of the club. Police unveiled the Croat on Thursday after dismissing coach Francis Baraza who has been in charge since last December.
Kenya Police chairman Munga Nyale insists that their main target this season remains winning the FKF-PL title.
"Police FC called me, I know why they called me and I have to do what I came to do. Let’s do the job, I came from the airport straight to training, let’s get the results,” said Logarusic.
Bidco go into the match looking for their first win over Police in six outings.
KCB recorded its second win of the season after beating Kakamega Homeboyz 2-0 in their rescheduled midweek fixture and will be motivated as they face Gor at Nyayo.
The bankers have seven points, one behind second-placed K'Ogalo who have not lost a game this season.
Head-to-head record puts Gor and KCB at par both have won once in the last four matches with the other ties ending in draws.
Fixtures (All matches kick off at 3pm unless stated)
Muhoroni Youth v Ulinzi Stars (Muhoroni)
Sofapaka v Nairobi City Stars (Kasarani Annex, 1pm)
Kenya Police v Bidco United (Police Sacco)
Nzoia Sugar v Murang’a Seal (Sudi)
Kariobangi Sharks v Posta Rangers (Kasarani Annex, 3.15pm)
AFC Leopards v Shabana (Ulinzi Sports Complex)
Gor Mahia v KCB (Nyayo)
Bandari v Kakamega Homeboyz (Mbaraki)
Tusker v FC Talanta (Ruaraka Grounds)