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SPL round 13 preview

Solid Ulinzi Stars and back-on-track Tusker will be eyeing the league leadership, and their recent record does make them deserving of that distinction. But top of the table Gor Mahia will want to have a say in that as they confront Posta Rangers in a tricky looking outing – for K’Ogalo that is – this weekend before the competition takes a three-week break.

(ALL KICK OFFS AT 3PM)

SATURDAY

Bandari vs Kakamega Homeboyz (Mbaraki Sports Club)

Bandari have suffered two consecutive losses, to league debutants Kariobangi Sharks and Zoo Kericho.

Striker Anthony Kimani has bowed out from club action after acquiring a job at the Kenya Ports Authority, leaving Jacob Keli and the fit-again Enoch Agwanda with the lead striking responsibilities.

Homeboyz are on a good three-match unbeaten run, and will be buoyed by their 1-0 victory over fast-fading AFC Leopards last weekend.

Homeboyz have never beaten Bandari in their four meetings in history.

Chemelil Sugar vs Ulinzi Stars (Chemelil Sugar Sports Complex)

Ulinzi Stars ruined Posta Rangers’ 11-match unbeaten record last weekend with a 1-0 victory to extend their winning streak to four matches.

They are now just two points off the top, and a win over Chemelil could see them assume the league leadership for the first time this season.

They have in their ranks league top scorer, Stephen Waruru. Need more be said?

Chemelil are winless in their last six games.

Ulinzi won last season’s first leg fixture 3-1 with Chemelil gaining ample revenge 1-0 in the return match.

Nzoia Sugar vs Sofapaka (Sudi Stadium)

Nzoia come into this game on the back of a stirring 3-0 win over Muhoroni Youth last weekend.

But Nzoia have a very poor home record and will be searching for their first win at their Sudi Stadium home ground.

Sofapaka, after a bustling initial run have now won just one of their last five outings.

Thika United vs Muhoroni Youth (Thika Stadium)

Thika delivered an utterly inspiring performance against Gor Mahia in their previous match to draw 1-1 and, based on that, will fancy a win on Saturday.

Muhoroni are struggling. The void left by striker Wycliffe Ochomo continues to be felt, and the strike force led by youngsters Eric Baki and Thomas Venval has only managed six goals thus far.

Talented Thika United defender Sammy Meja will miss this match and the next one against Posta for having accumulated five yellow cards.

Muhoroni beat Thika, 2-1 and 1-0 in this fixture last season.

SUNDAY

Nakumatt vs Mathare United (Ruaraka Grounds)

Mathare United are clearly limping and the evidence is all there to be seen: Won only two matches this season; second last on the log with nine points.

Mathare coach Francis Kimanzi has cited lack of confidence and inexperienced for the downturn.

It will be the first time that these two sides are meeting in the SPL, and Nakumatt midfielder Obadiah Ndege will be facing his former employers for the first time since joining the retailers in January.

Posta Rangers vs Gor Mahia (Nyayo National Stadium)

Timothy Otieno was left in tears after missing a penalty in Gor Mahia’s last match against Thika United, and will need to dig deep into his character to step onto the pitch on Sunday.

If he wavers, Jacques Tuyisenge is right there to start as partner to the productive Meddie Kagere.

Luke Ochieng, who was offloaded by K’Ogalo at the end of last season, is likely to get a starting role for Rangers as he faces his former employers.

The two sides played to identical one-all draws last season.

Tusker vs AFC Leopards (Kinoru Stadium)

AFC Leopards have failed to pick a win in their last six matches. Ominously, they have never beaten the brewers in a league match since 2014.

Another bad statistic, that one of never winning against Tusker in the last three seasons, further complicates their odds in this match.

It will be the last match that Ugandan utility player Shaffiq Batambuze will play for the brewers before he moves to Tanzanian club Singida.

Ingwe coach Stewart Hall is also said to have already issued a notice of leaving the club. Could this match be his swansong?

Their first leg fixture ended 2-2 while Tusker squeezed a 1-0 win in the return match.

Western Stima vs Kariobangi Sharks (Moi Stadium)

Kariobangi Sharks’ steady rise now incorporates six matches without loss. The upshot? The team is currently occupying a decent fifth position on the log and demanding the concomitant respect that comes with it.

Stima, on the other hand, are suffering the effects of having made a complete overhaul of the playing unit last December. They currently lie bottom of the log having won just twice in 12 games.

Bolton Omwenga has been sensational for Sharks, and will, naturally, lead the strike force as Fredrick Shimonyo does the same for struggling Stima.

Zoo Kericho vs Sony Sugar (Kericho Green Stadium)

Sony beat Western Stima 2-0 last weekend, but the sugar millers are yet to achieve a back-to-back win this season.

Mwana Yema, an upcoming striker, who joined Sony from the team’s junior side, is slowly establishing himself as a formidable player. He scored his first goal last weekend against Stima and could be a factor on Sunday.

Kericho, however, have Mike Madoya, a diminutive, skilled forward with a sharp mind who, on his day, can destroying opposing defenders.







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