The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) resumes after the international break and with Ulinzi Stars back in the country after participating in the East Africa Military Games, the weekend of September 10 – 11 will host a full set of right matches in the top flight with three matches lined up for Saturday and fives scheduled for Sunday.
Bandari v AFC Leopards (Mbaraki Sports Club, 3pm)
Coach Ezekiel Akwana is back at the helm of AFC Leopards’ technical bench following the sacking of Ivan Minnaert. This will be his first game on the touchline after his new appointment, albeit on a stand in basis.
He has, however, inherited a frail Ingwe outfit still hurting from their embarrassingly 3-0 loss to Western Stima in their last competitive outing.
Club top scorer Kepha Aswani, who missed the team’s previous match against Nairobi City Stars to attend to trials in Ethiopia, is back and should lead Ingwe’s hunt for goals. But they will find Bandari hard to break down in Mombasa.
Leopards won the first leg fixture 1-0.
Muhoroni Youth vs Kakamega Homeboyz (Muhoroni Stadium, 3pm)
The disquiet between Muhoroni Youth players and the club management seems to have been resolved, as all players attended the team’s training sessions this week.
Muhoroni are looking to return the favour to Kakamega Homeboyz who beat them 2-1 in Mumias four months ago.
Under former Kenya international Mike Mururi, Kakamega Homeboyz have looked good in recent times, losing just once in their last nine games.
Bad boy Wycliffe Ochomo, who has shuffled in and out of disciplinary committee hearings this year, is available for this match although he seems to have lost his scoring touch. Fact. He has not scored in 180 minutes of action.
Nigerian striker Abbas Akinyemi, now with Homeboyz, will want to have a go at his former employers.
Gor Mahia vs Chemelil Sugar (Nyayo Stadium, 3pm)
Is this a case of stirring the hornets’ nest? Chemelil coach Francis Baraza has publicly and confidently declared his intentions of collecting three points from defending champions Gor Mahia this Saturday.
This will be the sugar miller’s second match without their star defender Joseph Okumu who joined South African club Free State Stars in August.
The two sides fought to a barren draw in their first leg meeting.
Gor’s Burundian defender Karim Nizigiyimana has accumulated five yellow cards, and is therefore suspended for this clash.
City Stars vs Western Stima (Nyayo Stadium, 2pm)
This will be another opportunity for seasoned strikers Ezekiel Odera and Jimmy Bageya to prove their worth as they try to lift City Stars out of the relegation zone.
The power men have lost just once in seven games, and will fancy their chances and a chance to rise to third spot on the league table.
Stima’s Kenneth Muguna, Fredrick Shimonyo and Fredrick Nyarombo have formed a formidable frontline partnership after the departure of striker Baron Oketch, one that has created 14 goals for the club so far. The same cannot be said about the K’Ogalo strike force of Jacques Tuyisenge, Meddie Kagere and George Odhiambo that has flattered to deceive. All hat but no cattle.
If Stima show the form that saw them claim identical 3-0 wins over AFC Leopards and Muhoroni Youth, and a draw with leaders Tusker, expected them to push the 15-time champions all the way.
Ulinzi Stars vs Sofapaka (Afraha Stadium, 2pm)
For the fourth time this season, the coaching duties at Sofapaka have been delegated to former league golden boot winner John Baraza as head coach David Ouma will be on international duty with Kenya in the Cecafa Women’s Championship that begins in Jinja this weekend.
Kenya international Omar Mbongi will miss this tie for Ulinzi as he picked his second yellow card during his team’s 0-0 draw against Sony Sugar on Wednesday. Still, the Kenya Defence Forces side will start out as overwhelming favourites.
Sony Sugar vs Mathare United (Awendo Green Stadium, 3pm)
Sony did well to hold former champions Ulinzi Stars to a barren draw last weekend and will approach this tie with a spring in their walk.
But Mathare United have recently come out strongly after experiencing a dip in performance at the beginning of the second leg, and will be going for an outright win to bolster their title ambitions.
Mathare midfielder Ezekiel Seda broke his leg during training early this week and has been ruled out for the remainder of the season together with free kick specialist Roy Syamba, who is out with a knee injury.
Mathare won the first leg fixture 1-0.
Posta Rangers vs Thika United (Ruaraka ground, 3pm)
Posta Rangers’ top scorer Timothy Otieno, who returned to fitness last month after a three-month injury layoff, is a sure starter in this match.
Their defender Geoffrey Kataka is however a doubt for this match, as he has just returned to the country after attending trials at Ethiopia’s Premier League’s newly promoted club Addis Ababa City.
Thika team captain Dennis Odhiambo will miss this tie on automatic suspension as he picked his second red card in his last duty for club. Goal-getter Eugene Mukangula is also suspended after picking a red card.
The two teams played to a barren draw in their first leg encounter staged at the Thika County Stadium in April.
Ushuru vs Tusker (Nyayo Stadium, 4.15pm)
With a seven point gap at the helm of the table, Tusker can afford to be relaxed, but the prospects are more complicated for Ushuru.
The taxmen have failed to collect maximum points in their last seven games, and another poor result portends serious ramifications as they are just one spot away from the relegation zone.
Tusker defender Eugene Asike is a doubt with injury but his defence partner Lloyd Wahome has bounced back from the illness that kept him out of their last match against Homeboyz and is available for selection. Watch out for Tusker’s mid-season signing Allan Wanga who has scored three goals in Tusker’s last three matches.
Former Muhoroni Youth striker George Mandela is not eligible to play for the brewers on Sunday as he picked up a red card in their last match.
The two sides battled to a thrilling 2-2 draw in their first leg clash.