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Nzoia Sugar fans @KPL
Nzoia Sugar fans @KPL

SPL round 19 preview

Record league champions Gor Mahia lead the table standings with a game in hand as round 19 action takes place this weekend across the country. All 18 teams will be in action as they jostle for position on the table early in the second leg.

SATURDAY

Gor Mahia vs Muhoroni Youth (Kenyatta Stadium, 3pm)

This will be a huge test for Muhoroni Youth whose coach Gilbert Selebwa boasts vast Premier League experience in comparison with Gor’s Dylan Kerr, who just came into the Kenyan scene a few weeks ago.

Kenneth Muguna missed the team’s exploits against Nakumatt on Wednesday due to a problematic knee, but Kerr expects him back in action for this encounter.

K’Ogalo beat Muhoroni by identical 2-0 scores last season, but in the KPL Top 8, Muhoroni famously conjured up a 1-0 win on their way to lifting the title. More recently the teams drew 0-0 in their first leg encounter on May 14.

Kakamega Homeboyz vs Kariobangi Sharks (Mumias Sports Complex, 3pm)

Wednesday’s 3-2 defeat to Zoo Kericho shuttered Kariobangi Sharks’ 10-match unbeaten record, and they will be eager to bounce back to winning ways.

Veteran Sharks defender Pascal Ogweno is under suspension after collecting his second red card this season.

The two teams settled to a barren draw in their first leg encounter in July.

Ulinzi Stars vs Nakumatt (Afraha Stadium, 3pm)

Nakumatt should expect a backlash from Ulinzi who recently suffered successive defeats to Nzoia United and also lost 1-2 to the retail traders in mid-July

The Kenya Defence Forces hit man Stephen Waruru leads the scorers chart with 11 goals and will be keen to maintain his average strike rate of a-goal-a-game.

Former international Kepha Aswani, second on the SPL goal scorers’ log with six, has failed to sparkle for Nakumatt in their last two games, and should be straining on his leash to break his drought.

SUNDAY

Sofapaka vs Thika United (Afraha Stadium, 2pm)

Sofapaka returned to the top five with Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Muhoroni Youth and will want to establish another healthy winning streak.

Thika United have built an impressive unbeaten record of eight games. In that mix they beat Chemelil Sugar 1-0 on Wednesday to add to their growing confidence.

The two teams drew 0-0 in their first leg encounter in July.

AFC Leopards vs Bandari (Afraha Stadium, 4.15pm)

Two games without victory is the statistic that AFC Leopards coach Robert Matano faces as they entertain Bandari at home.

Bustling striker Aziz Okaka has been Ingwe’s shining light thus far this young second leg, while Bandari‘s Lewis Cosmas has emerged as the heir to Dan Sserunkuma’s shoes.

Ingwe beat Bandari 1-0 at Mbaraki in the first leg in July and will fancy another win upcountry against the coastal side.

Chemelil Sugar vs Zoo (Chemelil Sports Complex, 1pm)

Chemelil fell to a shock 1-0 defeat to Thika United last weekend, and they will be in search of redemption as they face the league debutants.

They will, however, be wary of Zoo Kericho who are unbeaten in eight games.

Apollo Otieno collected a red card during Chemelil’s match against Thika United earlier in the week, and face an automatic one match ban.

Nzoia Sugar vs Posta Rangers (Sudi, 3pm)

A home and away win against 2010 champions Ulinzi Stars in the last five days is the backdrop under which Nzoia Sugar approach tricky Posta Rangers.

In fact, Nzoia won at home for the first time on Wednesday, breaking their Sudi Stadium jinx that had spanned eight games.

Title chasing Rangers have the league’s summit on sight, and they will be looking to bag three points necessary for them to leapfrog current leaders Gor Mahia.

On form Rangers striker Dennis Mukaisi has been ruled out of this game for a red card he collected earlier in the week against Tusker.

Sony Sugar vs Mathare United (Awendo Green Stadium, 3pm)

Mathare United claimed a rare victory on Wednesday, thumping Kakamega Homeboyz 1-0 to get them out of the league’s bottom spot for the first time in two months.

Sony Sugar defender Fredrick Onyango will play no part in this match as he is serving a one-match suspension for accumulating five yellow cards.

Tusker vs Western Stima (Kinoru Stadium, 3pm)

The brewers’ poor run has seen them slump from top of the table to fourth.

After missing Tusker's last two games against Posta Rangers due to injury, proven strike Allan Wanga is set to make a return in this match.

Stima beat the brewers 1-0 in their first leg match in July and will be anything but intimidated by the 11-time league champions.







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