The 20th round of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) is here with eight games lined up on Wednesday 3 August across the nation and among the key matches that will be followed keenly will be those involving teams in the title run.
League leaders Tusker have slipped twice in their last two matches and heading to their match against Thika United they will be hoping to make it right given their nearest competitors, Gor Mahia will be playing against a tricky side in Sony Sugar, away in Awendo.
Here is the full plate of matches:
Ushuru vs Western Stima (Kenyatta Stadium, 2pm)
Western Stima suffered a 3-1 loss to Ushuru in the first leg, and will certainly be seeking sweet revenge.
Stima will be playing without defender Joash Onyango who is suspended for this match after collecting a red card in their last fixture.
Despite losing their danger man Baron Oketch to defending champions Gor Mahia during the transfer period, the power men have not lost any of their last five games and are five points ahead of the taxmen.
Muhoroni Youth vs Ulinzi Stars (Muhoroni Stadium, 3pm)
Muhoroni Youth have been in fine form lately, although they succumbed to a 2-1 loss to Bandari last weekend ending a four-match unbeaten run.
Ulinzi, on the other hand, are struggling with consistency only breaking a four-match winless run with a 3-2 victory over Ushuru last weekend.
The soldiers will be without Cylus Shitote who collected a red card in their win over Ushuru to earn the automatic one-match suspension.
Muhoroni Youth will also be without a key player in the name of league top scorer Wycliffe Ochomo who is suspended for collecting a red card, his second this season, and has been charged by the league for misconduct, again for the second time this season.
Kakamega Homeboyz vs Mathare United (Mumias Sugar Sports Complex, 3pm)
Kakamega Homeboyz were humbled 2-0 at their home ground in their GOtv Shield match against AFC Leopards last weekend, but they remain unbeaten in the league in their last six games.
They will be hoping to extend this good record as they welcome a Mathare United side with whom they drew 0-0 in the first leg.
Mathare United’s resourceful midfielder Eric Johanna will miss this match as he is currently in Sweden undergoing trials with club AIK Fotball.
Bandari vs Sofapaka (Mbaraki Sports Club, 3pm)
Sofapaka seem to have found a new lease of life. They have achieved identical 1-1 draws against Kakamega Homeboyz and Tusker, a far cry from their usual losing ways.
While Bandari beat them 1-0 in the first leg in Nairobi, Batoto ba Mungu look capable in every way of returning the favour, going by their new found confidence.
Experienced mid-season acquisitions Moses Odhiambo, Edgar Ochieng and Noah Abich have added depth and venom to the Sofapaka squad and could well feature prominently on Wednesday.
Bandari goalkeeper Wilson Obungu has been suspended for this match on a red card.
City Stars vs Chemelil Sugar (Nyayo Stadium, 3pm)
In their last two matches, Nairobi City Stars striker Ezekiel Odera has gripped fans’ attention with his breath taking goals. Could the adoring fans be in for another treat?
Watch out though for Chemelil Sugar’s veteran striker Hillary Echesa who has shown he has not lost his lethalness of yesteryears.
A goalless draw was the outcome of their first leg meeting.
SonySugar vs Gor Mahia (Awendo Green Stadium, 3pm)
Defending champions Gor Mahia head west to face their rivals and “brothers” Sony Sugar.
Despite their considerable home advantage – Awendo is a slaughter house of sorts – the sugar millers will retain the underdog status courtesy of their inconsistent form that has seen them win just six of their 19 games so far.
Gor’s Harun Shakava will miss this match for having accumulated five yellow cards, and Luke Ochieng will be in line to replace him in that central defense position.
Tusker vs Thika United (Kenyatta Stadium, 4.15pm)
Tusker have dropped points in successive matches and with Gor Mahia breathing down their neck will be keen to amend matters.
They face a lowly ranked but highly unpredictable Thika United side, that showed you rule them out at your own peril when they stunned fancied Mathare United 2-0 11 days ago.
Thika defender Sammy Meja limped off the field during their GOtv Shield match against Mosca last weekend and is likely to miss this match injured.
Tusker beat Thika 2-1 in their first leg meeting.
Posta Rangers vs AFC Leopards (Nyayo Stadium, 7pm)
AFC Leopards will be looking to extend their terrific form that has seen them pick points in four consecutive games.
New signing John Ndirangu is yet to score a goal for Ingwe in the league, but he has been in good form for Ingwe. He struck once in their 2-0 GOtv Shield win against Kakamega Homeboyz last weekend.
Rangers are, however, operating from the opposite side of the form book having failed to win in their last five fixtures.
It could be a close affair. The teams drew 0-0 in the reverse fixture.