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Harambee Stars host Uganda Cranes in Machakos

Kenya’s Harambee Stars play Uganda Cranes in an international friendly match at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Wednesday, kick-off time 3pm.

Entry charges for the early afternoon game are KSh100 and KSh300.

Tusker’s influential midfielder Humphrey Mieno has been dropped from the Kenyan squad after collecting an ankle injury during his club’s 2-0 loss to Thika United in a league encounter last weekend.

This means that Stars coach Stanley Okumbi will need to tweak his starting lineup to accommodate Gor Mahia’s Francis Kahata and Belgian based midfielder Johanna Omollo in the attacking midfield positions.

Team skipper and Tottenham Hotspur midfield powerhouse Victor Wanyama will once again marshal that department for Stars.

Okumbi will start Gor Mahia custodian Boniface Oluoch between the posts with David Owino, Brian Mandela, Aboud Omar and Posta Rangers’ Joackins Atudo in defense.

SportPesa Premier League 2015 Most Valuable Player Michael Olunga, now based in China, is a likely starter upfront with, 2015 SPL Golden Boot winner Jesse Were and unattached Paul Were looking in for a strike partnership.

Okumbi said that even though this is a friendly match, they will be going for an outright win against the old enemy Uganda.

“The team is okay and we are looking forward to the match. Every match is a competitive one for me so we shall approach this match with a win in mind,” he said.

For Uganda Cranes, this encounter will be particularly useful as their try out their local based players ahead of the 2018 Africa Nations Championship qualifiers that begin in April.

Cranes coach Milutin Sredojevic called up only six foreign-based players namely Shafiq Batambuze (Tusker, Kenya) Murushid Juuko (Simba, Tanzania), Godfrey Walusimbi (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (Nijmeh, Lebanon), Crizestom Ntambia (Jimma Aba Buna, Ethiopia) and Yassar Mugerwa (Saint George, Ethiopia).

The Serbian coach also recalled SC Villa striker Emmanuel Okwi and KCCA midfielder Brian Majwegga while leaving out the likes of Dennis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Robert Odongkara (Saint Georges, Ethiopia), Salim Jamal (Al Merrikh, Sudan) and former Gor Mahia midfielder Khalid Aucho who represented Uganda in the AFCON in Gabon in January this year.

“We have the World Cup qualifiers as well as qualifiers for CHAN (African Nations Championships) so we needed to have a good balance of the local players as well as the international ones. This match will be a good test for the local based players because they are the majority in the team,” the Serbian coach said.

The two sides fought to a barren draw in their last meeting in September last year in Kampala and Wednesday's clash is likely to be another close affair.

Kenya are currently placed 88 and Uganda 74 in the Fifa World Rankings.







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