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SPL round three preview

All eyes will be on defending champions Tusker, who have lost their two opening games. The AFC Leopards-Nzoia Sugar match looks an enticing encounter between two sides that have shown exuberant and industry. Gor Mahia are a perfect two as they travel home to be hosted by Western Stima.

SATURDAY

Kariobangi Sharks v Ulinzi Stars (Kenyatta Stadium,2pm)

This will be Ulinzi Stars' first league match this season after their endeavours in the Confederation Cup.

Veteran midfielder Osborne Monday returns for Kariobangi Sharks.

Harambee Stars trialist Ovella Ochieng sustained an injury in Sharks’ 1-0 loss to Muhoroni Youth two weeks ago, and together with Masoud Juma, will not feature on Saturday.

Cavin Odongo and Ebrima Sanneh are back in action after long injury layoffs and Sharks coach William Muluya could field them.

AFC Leopards v Nzoia Sugar (Kenyatta Stadium, 4.15pm)

AFC Leopards got off to a flying start - 3-0 - in their first match against Nakumatt, and they will be looking to extend this brilliant run against potential dark horses Nzoia.

Nzoia are unbeaten in their last two games and have unsettled teams with their pace and route one football.

Nzoia coach Bernard Mwalala has a tricky decision to make, as former Ingwe defender Edwin Wafula is yet to recover from an ankle injury and is a doubt.

Leopard’s Samuel Ndung'u and Vincent Oburu will miss playing in their second matches due to unresolved issues with their transfers.

Bandari v Muhoroni Youth (Mbaraki Sports Club, 3pm)

Muhoroni Youth will need to put aside worries over the disciplinary proceedings the league has initiated against them and chase for their first win of the season.

The two sides exchanged victories last season, Muhoroni 1-0 first leg winners and Bandari on top 2-1 in the second leg.

Kakamega Homeboyz vs Posta Rangers (Mumias Sugar Sports Complex, 3pm)

Homeboyz were awarded three points and two goals after their match against Muhoroni Youth was aborted two weeks ago.

They will look to goal-getter Wycliffe Ochomo, who scored against his old club Muhoroni in that troubled match, for the decisive breakthroughs.

Homeboyz’s Abdulatif Omar will be playing against his old club for the first time since moving to western Kenya in December.

Last year, Homeboyz beat Rangers 2-1 in the first leg, while the return match ended in a barren draw.

SUNDAY

Tusker v Chemelil Sugar (Afraha Stadium, 3pm)

Tusker will be searching for their first victory this season.

Chemelil on the other hand are unbeaten in their two games so far, having thumped Sony Sugar 2-0 away in their first match and drawn 1-1 with Kakamega Homeboyz.

Tusker picked four points from Chemelil Sugar in 3-0 and 2-2 results last season.

Mathare United v Sofapaka (Kenyatta Stadium, 3pm)

Sofapaka will be basking in their newly acquired Sh50million three-year sponsorship from online betting company Betika.

Having beaten Western Stima 3-1 in their last match, Sofapaka look capable of condemning Mathare to their first defeat of the season.

Mathare's Daniel Mwaura collected a red card in his team’s previous game against Nzoia United, and is therefore suspended for this match.

Former Mathare United under-20 midfielder Ahmed Abdalla is back from injury and could feature in Francis Kimanzi’s line-up.

Mathare crushed Sofapaka 5-2 in this fixture last season.

Sony Sugar v Thika United (Awendo Green Stadium, 3pm)

Thika United will be playing their first away match this season.

Their striker Onwudi Chibweze and defensive midfielder Michael Mutinda picked injuries in their 2-0 win over Tusker, and are not available for this match.

The encounters were close last season, a 1-1 draw in the first leg, and Sony 1-0 winners in the return fixture.

Zoo Kericho v Nakumatt (Kericho Green Stadium, 3pm)

The promoted sides clash for the first time at this level.

Both sides will be looking for their maiden season win, and for Zoo Kericho their first ever in top flight football.

Zoo’s defender Nixon Amulanda misses this match on an automatic one-match ban for receiving a red card.

Western Stima v Gor Mahia (Moi Stadium, 3pm)

Gor will be chasing for a perfect three, home away from home. In fact, it is Western Stima who are hosts but will expect to play in front of a crowd partisan to the visiting team.

K’Ogalo players staged a go-slow last week over unpaid allowances, and have had only four days of training. Still, they start as favourites.

Watch out for the quality of new signings Jean-Baptiste Mugiraneza and striker Kenneth Muguna, as well as the productive Jacques Tuyisenge in the former champion’s side.

Gor captain and central defender Musa Mohammed will miss this match with an injury.

Stima goalkeeper Samuel “Abawa” Odhiambo is banned for a red card received in his previous match, against Sofapaka.

Stima will take heart from their performance against the 15-time champions last season, holding them to a 1-1 draw and narrowly losing 1-0.







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