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SPL round 25 preview

One interesting game of the weekend will no doubt be the clash between sharp looking Ulinzi Stars against fading dark horses Posta Rangers at the Thika Stadium, as well as the meeting between title chasing Sofapaka and growing in stature by leaps and bounds Kariobangi Sharks in Narok.

SATURDAY

Kariobangi Sharks v Sofapaka (Kenyatta Stadium, 3pm)

Rising debutants Kariobangi Sharks will be fighting to remain in the top five positions on the SPL table when they face formidable Sofapaka on Saturday afternoon.

Batoto ba Mungu had their seven-match unbeaten run shattered in a 2-1 loss to Ulinzi Stars at the weekend, thereby allowing leaders Gor Mahia to go nine points clear on top of the SPL table.

On-form Kariobangi Sharks striker Masoud Juma has collected five yellow cards and is therefore suspended from this match.

The two teams have met twice this year, drawing 0-0 in the league and Sharks triumphing 3-1 in the GOtv Shield quarter-finals.

SUNDAY

AFC Leopards v Kakamega Homeboyz (Kenyatta Stadium, 3pm)

AFC Leopards’ attempts at rejuvenation were abruptly cut short on Wednesday after suffering a 1-0 loss to Sony Sugar in Kericho.

This match therefore presents an immediate opportunity for coach Robert Matano to steer Ingwe back on track with a win over their Kakamega-based opponent.

Homeboyz are enjoying terrific form, and are perched at an impressive fourth position on the SPL table with a six-match unbeaten ran.

Homeboyz beat Leopards 1-0 in their first leg encounter on May 20.

Bandari v Zoo Kericho (Mbaraki Sports Club, 3pm)

Bandari find themselves in a disappointing ninth position in the SPL table having failed to win in five consecutive games.

Zoo Kericho striker Nicholas Kipkurui is suspended from this clash for having accumulated five yellow cards.

The two teams met four months ago, the league debutants stunning the dockers 3-2.

Chemelil Sugar v Nakumatt (Chemelil Sports Complex, 3pm)

Kepha Aswani and Boniface Akenga seem to have found their rhythm, albeit erratically, at Nakumatt and are the danger men.

Despite their underdog status, Nakumatt beat Posta Rangers 2-0 and drew 2-2 with Thika United to rise to their current tenth position on the SPL table.

Chemelil will benefit from the return of Jairus Adira, John Mwita and Amani Kyata who have now been given a clean bill of health from illness and knee injuries respectively.

Nakumatt won the first leg tie 2-1.

Tusker v Mathare United (Ruaraka Ground, 3pm)

Limping defending champions Tusker achieved their first win in four games on Wednesday against Zoo Kericho, and they will be looking to provide a good follow up on Sunday.

Super sub Stephen Owusu has scored the winning goal for Tusker twice this season, and will be itching for action at his team’s base.

Mathare United, who are enduring perhaps their worst season in half a decade, looked to be on the mend before suffering a stinging 3-0 loss to upstarts Kariobangi Sharks on Wednesday, and will likely be carrying confidence that is as strong as wet tissue paper.

The Slum Boys suffered a 2-0 loss to the defending champions in their first leg match played on May 20.

Sugar v Muhoroni Youth (Sudi Stadium, 3pm)

Muhoroni Youth have managed only 20 points from 23 games, and have recorded the highest losses (11) in the league so far.

They face a Nzoia Sugar side that recovered from Saturday’s 4-0 loss to Gor Mahia by beating Bandari 3-0 in their midweek fixture.

Lawrence Juma, who managed a brace for Nzoia on Wednesday, is a sure starter in this game, as Bliss Kityo and Kennedy Rono lead the Muhoroni front line. Home side Nzoia can take confidence from the fact they thumped Muhoroni 3-0 away in their first leg tie.

Posta Rangers v Ulinzi Stars (Thika Stadium, 2pm)

Early season pace setters Posta Rangers are decidedly on a slump. They are yet to taste victory in their last six matches.

If Ulinzi’s previous match against Sofapaka is anything to go by, midfielder Samuel Onyango may be finally returning to good form, and his link play with league top scorer Stephen Waruru could decide this match.

The soldiers recorded a 1-0 win over the postmen when the two teams met in the first leg.

Thika United v Gor Mahia (Thika Stadium, 4.15pm)

With a nine-point gap at the summit of the SPL table charging Gor Mahia will be eager to extend their lead as they push to recapture the title.

Thika Uited held Gor to a 1-1 draw in their first leg match and have been a troublesome team for K’Ogalo to deal with.

Lanky center back Harun Shakava returns from injury for Gor after missing their midweek clash against Chemelil Sugar, and is sure to replace Joash Onyango in the starting lineup.

Watch out for the sizzling Rwandan striker Jacques Tuyisenge, who has scored a brace in two consecutive matches, and could be looking to notch that rare hat trick of doubles.

Western Stima v Sony Sugar (Moi Stadium, 3pm)

Western Stima’s new coach Richard Makumbi will be looking to record a wining start when they welcome Sony Sugar in Kisumu.

Team captain John Mukisa delivered a man-of-the-match performance in Stima’s barren draw against Kakamega Homeboyz three days ago, and is a sure starter in Makumbi’s lineup.

The power men will benefit from the return of goalkeeper John Wau, who has completed his one match suspension, and is therefore eligible to play this match.

It won’t however be a walk in the park for Stima, as the sugar millers will come motivated by their 1-0 victory over AFC Leopards three days ago.

Also, Sony comfortably beat Stima 2-0 in their first leg clash played in Awendo on May 21.







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