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SPL round 14 preview

League action resumes after a three-week break. Quick reminder, Tusker and Gor lead the table on 27 points though K’Ogalo have a better goal difference. The green jerseys have a tricky outing against revamped Sofapaka while the Ruaraka-based brewers will have to be on guard against surging Kariobangi Sharks on Sunday. Watch out for the AFC Leopards-Mathare United game, and all the new signings in this transfer period.

SATURDAY:

Chemelil Sugar vs Nzoia United (3pm, Chemelil Sports Complex)

Chemelil have lost mainstays Willis Ouma and Hillary Echesa to Sofapaka, and are decidedly weaker.

The two sides are meeting in top flight for the first time in recent years.

Thika United vs Posta Rangers (3pm, Thika Stadium)

It has been nine games since Thika United celebrated victory, and not even the recent appointment of Nicholas Muyoti as head coach has helped the situation.

While Thika are yet to make any prominent signings even after the departure of striker Timoth Luda, Rangers rushed to acquire forward Kennedy Agogo from Western Stima in order to sharpen their front line.

Rangers managed only four points from Thika last season after beating them 1-0 and then settling for a barren draw in the reverse fixture.

Interestingly, in 2012, Thika recorded huge victories over Rangers, beating them 6-0 and 4-0 in their league encounters.

AFC Leopards vs Mathare United (3pm, Nyayo National Stadium)

Leopards’ new coach Dorian Marin has already suffered a loss – and a big one at that – 0-3 against Gor Mahia in the final of the SportPesa Super Cup last Sunday in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Leopards are winless in their last seven games.

Mathare United are rock bottom of the league table having suffered five consecutive losses.

The two sides have drawn all their fixtures over the past two seasons. Three encounters ended 1-1 while one was barren.

SUNDAY:

Kakamega Homeboyz vs Zoo Kericho (3pm, Mumias Sports Complex)

At ninth place on the log, Homeboyz are five points above the league debutants, but have won one match more than their Sunday opponents.

Having played against each other in the National Super League a few years back, these two teams are no strangers to each other. This will, however, be the first time that they face each other in the top flight league.

Kariobangi Sharks vs Tusker (3pm, Kenyatta Stadium)

Second-placed cruisingTusker will be looking to grab the league leadership and they have form on their side with a seven-match winning streak and 11-match unbeaten run.

Sharks will, however, be no pushovers, as they have improved greatly in the last two months, moving from the bottom of the table to fifth and are unbeaten in their last seven outings.

Tusker will be without Ugandan utility Shaffiq Batambuze who joined Tanzanian side Singida at the beginning of this month.

This is the first ever encounter between the two sides in the SportPesa Premier League.

Sofapaka vs Gor Mahia (3pm, Kinoru Stadium)

Abdulatif Omar and Hillary Echesa have rejoined Sofapaka alongside 12 other players.

Batoto ba Mungu>/i> have, however, parted ways with veteran influential midfielder Moses “Dube” Odhiambo.

Leaders Gor Mahia have not been very active this June transfer period, but will be brimming with confidence after their hugely successful SportPesa Super Cup campaign in Tanzania last week.

The last time Sofapaka beat K’Ogalo was in October 2014 in Machakos. Since that chaotic 3-2 loss, Gor has won three of their last five meetings.

Bandari vs Western Stima (3pm, Mbaraki Sports Club)

Bandari have gone three matches without victory, while Stima have collected four points from their last three outings to lift themselves out of the basement.

Stima, coached by Henry Omino, have bolstered their squad with the acquisition of former Harambee Stars midfielder Vincent Omumbo.

Last year, the two teams traded wins, Western Stima 2-0 victors in the first leg, and the docker hitting back 1-0 in the return match.

Ulinzi Stars vs Sony Sugar (3pm, Afraha Stadium)

Ulinzi come into this match buoyed by a new sponsorship deal with local betting firm Elitebet that they signed early in June.

Stephen Waruru is perched atop the top scorer’s list with seven goals in nine games, and he looks on fire. Sony beware!

Sony Sugar midfielder Boniface Muchiri received his first call up to the national team this month due to his good performance, and will be a player to watch on Sunday.

Four of these team’s last five encounters have ended in stalemates. The match that produced a winner was played in February 2015 when Sony beat the soldiers 2-0 at Afraha.

Muhoroni Youth vs Nakumatt (3pm, Muhoroni Stadium)

Two wins in 13 games has left Muhoroni Youth standing at a precarious 15th position on the log, and, understandably, lacking a lot in confidence.

Television football pundit Gilbert Selebwa has been linked with the coaching job at Muhoroni as they look to arrest their slump.

Retail traders Nakumatt are riding high after collecting an impressive 10 points out of a maximum 12 in their last four matches.

This will be the first ever encounter between the two teams at this level.







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