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SPL round 10 preview

The razzmatazz of the Mashemeji derby now safely behind us, attention shifts to round 10 games that will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Will unlikely league leaders Posta Rangers keep their unbeaten record intact when they are hosted by Muhoroni Youth – who are notoriously difficult opponents to play with while they are at home – on Wednesday?

And will there be an Ingwe backlash on Sony Sugar when the vanquished Mashemeji derby side AFC Leopards come calling at Awendo Green Stadium?

Western Stima find themselves in an uncomfortable and unfamiliar position at the foot of the SPL table, and the time to pick themselves up is now. Will they manage to go past Kakamega Homeboyz?

TUESDAY:

Mathare United vs Kariobangi Sharks (Kenyatta Stadium, 3pm)

Coach Francis Kimanzi will return to the touchline for the first time in almost month following the expiry of his four-match touchline ban for misconduct..

The Slum Boys face a rejuvenated Kariobangi Sharks who are currently riding on a decent three-match unbeaten record.

Bolton Omwenga and Pascal Ogweno were sensational for Sharks in their 2-0 win over Sony Sugar last week, and are expected to feature prominently on Tuesday in the William Muluya-coached side.

Mathare United are yet to find a definite starting squad, and goalkeeper Wycliffe Kasaya could be in the first XI in place of the young Levis Opiyo who had a poor game on Friday.

WEDNESDAY

Bandari vs Nzoia Sugar (Mbaraki Sports Club, 3pm)

Nzoia Sugar have not won in their last five away games, but have a fantastic away record that shows they have lost only one of their four games on the road and won the other three.

Boniface Omondi scored Nzoia’s lone goal last week against Nakumatt, and could be preferred to start on the wings once more, to provide support to the attacking pair of Elvis Rupia and Victor Omondi.

Proven goal scorer Jacob Keli led the Bandari frontline the last time they played (against Mathare United) although we could see speedsters Dan Sseerunkuma and Shaban Kenga also featuring upfront for the coast side.

Gor Mahia vs Chemelil Sugar (Thika Stadium, 4.15pm)

Gor Mahia cruised effortlessly to a 3-0 win over old enemy AFC Leopards last weekend and will be well motivated to deal with Chemelil.

Jacques Tuyisenge has recovered from a knock he picked up in their match against Mathare United two weeks ago and is an option to Timothy Otieno and Meddie Kagere in the Gor forward line.

Veteran Hillary Echesa has been one of Chemelil’s most influential player, and will be the danger man for the visiting team.

One has to go back four years to find the last time K’Ogalo lost to Chemelil. Gor were 3-1 winners the last time the two sides met.

Kakamega Homeboyz vs Western Stima (Mumias Sports Complex, 3pm)

Western Stima’s dwindling fortunes have seen them descend to the very bottom of the SPL table with just one win from nine matches.

Homeboyz striker Eston Esiye created several chances for his team last weekend against Tusker, and he will relish facing his former employers in his current good form.

Homeboyz collected four points in this meeting last season, 2-1 and 0-0 results.

Muhoroni Youth vs Posta Rangers (Muhoroni Stadium, 3pm)

Rangers goalkeeper Farouk Shikalo could come face-to-face with his former employers, although it is unlikely that his coach Sammy Omollo will prefer him to start ahead of the much improved Patrick Matasi.

The two sides exchanged victories last season, Rangers winning the first leg 2-0 at home before Muhoroni returned the favour 2-1 five months later.

Nakumatt vs Thika United (Ruaraka Grounds, 3pm)

Peter Nzuki has been the Nakumatt lead attacker and he will expect to once again carry the goal scoring responsibilities for the retail traders on Wednesday.

Thika United have conceded a league leading14 goals so far and, surely, the underdogs in this tit.

Thika defender Sammy Meja will miss this match as he is currently suspended for the red card he collected when his team lost 3-2 to Ulinzi Stars last weekend.

Sofapaka vs Ulinzi Stars (Kenyatta Stadium, 3pm)

Sofapaka’s seven-match unbeaten record was snapped in a 1-0 loss to Posta Rangers last weekend, and they will need to provide a good response in this match.

The experience of veteran forward Charles Okwemba combined with the ambition of rookie Wanok Pate will be called upon to help Batoto ba Mungu register a good comeback.

Diminutive striker Stephen Waruru will want to maintain his current record for Ulinzi Stars of scoring a goal a match. Watch out for him.

Ulinzi picked maximum six points from Sofapaka last season in 2-1, 3-1 results.

Sony Sugar vs AFC Leopards (Awendo Green Stadium)

Sony Sugar and AFC Leopards will come into this match on the back of defeats from Kariobangi Sharks and Gor Mahia respectively.

Ghanaian Gilbert Fiamenyo was ineffective for Ingwe over the weekend, but coach Stewart Hall has few options and will likely partner him with fit again Paul Kiongera upfront.

Sony forward Victor Ademba will make a return to the team after sitting out last weekend’s clash against Kariobangi Sharks with suspension.

The last time Ingwe fell to Sony was in July 2015, 1-2 in Awendo. Last season, the big cats bagged all six points from the sugar millers courtesy of 2-1 and 1-0 victories.

Zoo Kericho vs Tusker (Kericho Green Stadium, 3pm)

Defending champions Tusker are on a steadfast resurgence and a win in this match could hoist them to third place in the table.

On paper, this is a match that the brewers should put away with ease.

But they must be wary of debutants Zoo flush from their recent back-to-back wins overs Western Stima and Ulinzi Stars, certified seasoned clubs in top flight football.

Mike Madoya will be the man to watch in the Zoo Kericho outfit, while the brewers have a wealth of experienced players including Allan Wanga, Anthony Ndolo, Humphrey Mieno and Ugandan utility player Shaffiq Batambuze.







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