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SPL round 24 preview

Teams are bracing for another round of tricky engagements on Wednesday and Thursday. Kericho residents are in for a mouthwatering double header involving AFC Leopards against Sony Sugar, and Ulinzi Stars versus Sofapaka, as "visiting" league leaders Gor Mahia face Chemelil Sugar in Kisumu.

WEDNESDAY:

Western Stima v Kakamega Homeboyz (Moi Stadium, 3pm)

Homeboyz experienced striker Wycliffe Ochomo has been dropped from the starting line-up after a drop in form.

Stima have lost their last four matches and have not won in their last five outings.

Homeboyz beat Stima 1-0 in their first leg meeting.

Kariobangi Sharks v Mathare United (Narok Stadium, 3pm)

Masoud Juma’s form has been cutting edge and he will no doubt spearhead the Kariobangi Sharks’ attack against Mathare.

Mathare are on an upswing as they ride a 10-match unbeaten streak.

Mathare midfielder Ezekiel Seda returns following a yearlong injury layoff.

League debutants Sharks beat Mathare United 2-1 in their first leg match last May.

Nzoia Sugar v Bandari (Sudi Stadium, 3pm)

Nzoia come into this match on the back of a 4-0 defeat by Gor Mahia at the weekend, while Bandari also lost 1-0 to Kariobangi Sharks at home.

Bandari striker Lewis Cosmas is back from compassionate leave following the death of his father.

The dockers prevailed over Nzoia 2-1 in their first leg clash in Mombasa.

Thika United v Nakumatt (Thika Stadium, 4pm)

Nakumatt's dangerous striker Kepha Aswani, bagged a brace in the retailers’ previous match against Posta Rangers, and is the man to watch in this clash.

Thika are still smarting from giving away a one goal lead in their 2-1 loss to Kakamega Homeboyz in Mumias two days ago.

The retail traders beat Thika United 2-1 in their first leg encounter.

Posta Rangers v Muhoroni Youth (Ruaraka Grounds, 2pm)

The post men will continue to do without the services of reliable defender Pascal Ogweno who is serving a six-match ban meted out on him by the league’s disciplinary body for gross misconduct.

The two sides drew 1-1 in their first leg fixture at Muhoroni.

Tusker v Zoo Kericho (Ruaraka Gounds, 4.15pm)

Tusker find themselves in an unfamiliar ninth position courtesy of a string of surprise losses that now threaten to end the team’s title defense.

Veteran Allan Wanga, Michael Khamati and Noah Wafula have been rather ineffective in as far as scoring goals is concerned lately. In fact, stuttering Tusker have scored just twice in their last eight matches and are winless in as many games.

Zoo, despite the 3-1 beating they received from AFC Leopards at home last weekend, will fancy a go at the brewers who are decidedly vulnerable at this stage.

It is unclear whether Tusker’s sensational left back Marlone Tangauzi will be available for this match as he is recovering from a calf injury.

In the first leg meeting, the brewers suffered a shock 2-0 loss in the hands of the league debutants.

AFC Leopards v Sony Sugar (Kericho Green Stadium, 2pm)

Sony Sugar’s productive striker Mwana Yema is available after serving out one-match suspension for collecting five yellow cards.

The sugar millers will carry the confidence of having beaten league champions Tusker 2-0 a couple of days ago.

Leopards are enjoying new found form that has seen them grab eight points from four matches.

As striker Allan Katerrega continues to be sidelined by coach Robert Matano over discipline issues, Ray Omondi has stepped up to lead in the Ingwe goal hunt.

Sony beat Leopards 1-0 in their first leg match.

Ulinzi Stars v Sofapaka (Kericho Green Stadium, 4.15pm)

Red hot Umaru Kasumba, scorer of the hat trick that helped Sofapaka to a 4-1 win over Chemelil Sugar last weekend, has another opportunity to increase his goal tally as he chases the league’s Golden Boot.

This will be the soldiers’ second league action since returning from the East Africa Military Games three weeks ago with the regional title.

Sofapaka are unbeaten in their last seven matches, and tellingly, have plundered 16 goals in their last five outings.

League leading scorer Stephen Waruru of Ulinzi has struggled to find the back of the net since the beginning of the second leg.

The soldiers edged out Sofapaka 1-0 in the first leg meeting between the two.

THURSDAY:

Chemelil Sugar v Gor Mahia (Moi Stadium, 3pm)

Extension of their six-point advantage atop the SPL table will be top on cruising Gor Mahia’s agenda as they face Chemelil Sugar in Kisumu.

The sugar millers endured a tough outing last weekend where they were beaten 4-1 by second placed Sofapaka in Narok.

Lanky defender Harun Shakava will miss this match for having accumulated five yellow cards in the 22 games he has featured for K’Ogalo.

Chemelil will also miss the services of their first choice goalkeeper John Wau who saw red in Sunday’s heavy defeat to Sofapaka.

Gor, who are the visiting team in this their second home venue of Moi Stadium, have only failed to score in three league games thus far this season.







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