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SPL round 12 preview

Narok County Stadium will this weekend host its first Premiership match, an enticing Sofapaka versus Kariobangi Sharks clash. Back-on-track Tusker will be chasing their sixth straight win, “away” to Mathare United at Ruaraka, ex-champions Gor Mahia face Thika United at Nyayo National stadium while “home sides” Kakamega Homeboyz and AFC Leopards meet at Mumias.

SATURDAY

Kakamega Homeboyz vs AFC Leopards (Mumias Sports Complex)

Homeboyz crushed AFC Leopards 4-1 the last time they met, in Mumias last September.

That was the only time that Homeboyz had succeeded in beating their big brothers in their five league encounters.

Homeboyz though will fancy another Leopards skinning and have formidable new additions in strikers Wycliffe Ochomo, Francis Ochollah, Lamine Diallo and Estone Esiye to hunt down the big cats.

Leopards have league second top scorer, with five goals to his name thus far, to look up to in Ghanaian Gilbert Fiamenyo.

Mathare United vs Tusker (Ruaraka Grounds)

Tusker are unbeaten in their last nine games and have won their last five.

Look out for defender Marlone Tangauzi, who earned his first call up to the national team, and has dislodged Martin Kiiza from the brewers’ fullback position.

Mathare United coach Francis Kimanzi will be back on the touch line after serving out four-match ban for misconduct.

The 2008 champions have not won since April 30 when they beat Gor Mahia 1-0.

Tusker beat Mathare United 2-0 on September 6, the last time the two teams met.

Muhoroni Youth vs Nzoia Sugar (Muhoroni Stadium)

Nzoia Sugar have gone four matches without a win.

The millers' coach Bernard Mwalala is likely to maintain the three-pronged strike force of Boniface Omondi, Masita Masuta and Elvis Rupia.

Jacob Faina has accumulated five yellow cards, and is ineligible to feature for Muhoroni Youth in this match.

Sofapaka vs Kariobangi Sharks (Narok County Stadium)

At fifth place on the SPL log and riding on a five-match unbeaten run, league debutants Kariobangi Sharks are on a roll.

But even though they have beaten established sides the likes of Bandari, Sony Sugar and Mathare United, they face a formidable opponent in the shape of Sofapaka.

Will old horse Charles Okwemba, enjoying a rich vein of form, deliver for Sofapaka again?

Sharks welcome back striker Cavin Odongo who was out for a month with a calf injury.

Zoo Kericho vs Bandari (Kericho Green Stadium)

Having conceded a last minute equaliser against AFC Leopards last weekend, Zoo Kericho will be looking to keep their concentration over 90 minutes.

The dockers lost 1-0 to Kariobangi Sharks last weekend in Nairobi, a result that coach Paul Nkata blamed on fatigue. They are again on the road and could again suffer, if Nkata’s words are anything to go by.

Bandari's ex-Gor Mahia striker Enock Agwanda has fully recovered from a thigh injury that kept him out of action in April and he could start as a partner to lead front man Jacob Keli.

SUNDAY

Gor Mahia vs Thika United (Nyayo Stadium)

The team at the top of the table, Gor, welcomes the team at the bottom of the table, Thika.

The pressure is certainly on for new Thika coach Francis Muyoti, who recently took up that position from James Nandwa.

It will be a moment of nostalgia for dangerous K’Ogalo midfielder Francis Kahata, who will be facing the club that mentored him in his formative years.

K’Ogalo beat Thika United with identical 2-1 score lines last season.

The last time Thika defeatd Gor Mahia was on August 12, 2009, a narrow 1-0 result.

Nakumatt vs Chemelil Sugar (Ruaraka Grounds)

Nakumatt are on a resurgence, unbeaten in their last four games.

Chemelil, who are just one point above their opponents, will fancy getting all three points from the league rookies but must shake off a lethargic start to the season.

The newcomers can count on league old hands Robert Omunuk, Eric Ochieng, Kepha Aswani, Sammy Okinda, Kevin Omondi and Obadiah Ndege to crush the sugar millers.

Sony Sugar vs Western Stima (Awendo Green Stadium)

Stima managed to crawl off the bottom league spot with their 3-2 win over Mathare United last weekend, but can they manage a similar result against their next door neighbours?

Moses Arita, Ezekiel Otuoma and Samuel “Abawa” Odhiambo have failed to sparkle for the power men since signing for them early this year.

Sony are not doing any better having won only three of their 11 games so far.

The sugar millers are grappling with the absence of George Abege. The Sony hit man has been ruled out of action for the next four weeks with injury.

Sony collected four points in this fixture last season and will take some confidence from their 3-1 win in Kisumu.

Ulinzi Stars vs Posta Rangers (Afraha Stadium)

If ever there was a time that Posta Rangers’ unbeaten run, now on 11 matches, was to be seriously tested, it is on Sunday, and by the no nonsense Ulinzi Stars.

Ulinzi of course have league top scorer Stephen Waruri, currently on six goals and counting.

Rangers’ midfielder Joseph Kuria will face his former employers in this match having crossed over to the mail men at the beginning of this year.

Defender Brian Birgen received a red card in Ulinzi’s last game against Muhoroni Youth, and is suspended for this match.

Rangers have beaten Ulinzi Stars once in their eight meetings in history.







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