Defending champions Tusker face off with league leaders Gor Mahia at Kericho on Saturday in the pick of weekend matches.
The brewers will be looking to avenge their 1-0 loss at the hands of K’Ogalo in the KPL Super Cup in March while Gor will be eager to extend their impressive lead at the top of the league table. Sofapaka and Ulinzi are also in action in the seven-match, weekend schedule.Considered dark horses in the 2017 league chase, Posta Rangers have gone eight games without victory and have dropped from second to sixth place on the SPL table.
Thika are missing their key striker Onwudi Chibueze out with injury, and have had to rely on Shami Kibwana as their lead front runner in the last four games.
Patrick Matasi of Posta Rangers misses this tie as he serves a two-match ban for accumulating five yellow cards and one red card.
The two teams played to a 2-2 first leg draw in June.Mathare may have risen above the red zone, but their performance in the last two games has not been encouraging – two losses, four goals conceded, none scored.
Another loss will see them return to that dreadful relegation zone where they languished for seven weeks in the first leg.
Mathare’s midfield duo of Daniel Mwaura and Samuel Olwande resumed training early this week after being sidelined by injury and should be available for this tie, a timely boost for the 2008 champions acutely short on confidence.
The soldiers crushed Mathare 5-1 in their first leg encounter.
Kakamega Homeboyz v Sofapaka (Mumias Sports Complex, 3pm)
Homeboyz haven’t lost a game in seven assignments and are located a prestigious fourth position on the SPL table.
They are, however, just three positions below their second placed opponents who are hard on the trail of leaders Gor Mahia.
Homeboyz defender Collins Kisuya will be facing his former employers in this match, as will Sofapaka defender Abdulatif Omar.
Batoto ba Mungu’s first choice goalkeeper Mathias Kigonya continues to be sidelined by an ankle injury and although he has begun light training with the club he is not match-fit. George Opiyo will start in his place.
A barren draw was the outcome of this match up when Sofapaka hosted the first leg in April. With Sofapaka’s top scorer Umaru Kasumba riding a rich vein of form, this tie is unlikely to stay scoreless.
Tusker v Gor Mahia (Kericho Green Stadium, 3pm)
The game of the weekend.
Having collected three wins on the trot, Tusker will enter this match against their nemeses with sufficient confidence, one thinks.
K’Ogalo are also enjoying good form with imports Medie Kagere, Jacques Tuyisenge running roughshod, and are on a 10-match unbeaten record that has seen them open a nine-point advantage at the helm.
It will therefore make this an interesting match to watch as Gor coach Dylan Kerr and his Tusker counterpart George Nsimbe compete in what will be a show of tactical prowess.
While many people consider the Mashemeji Derby the biggest fixture on the land, a meeting between Gor and Tusker – long term bitter rivals by any measure – ranks up there as another big clash of giants.
The two teams drew 0-0 in their first leg meeting, while K’Ogalo had earlier beaten the brewers 1-0 in the preseason Super Cup tournament.
Bandari v Chemelil Sugar (Mbaraki Sports Club, 3pm)
Bandari are still smarting from their 3-0 loss to Tusker on Wednesday, and will be looking to offer a good response when they welcome Chemelil.
The sugar millers on the other hand are motivated by last weekend’s 2-0 win over Nakumatt and will be keen to move above their current 13th position on the SPL log.
Chemelil midfielder Kennedy Odhiambo misses this match for having collected a red card in his previous fixture.
Western Stima v Nakumatt (Moi Stadium, 3pm)
Ever green, veteran Nakumatt striker Kepha Aswani, chasing the 2017 Godlen Boot, will eager to make a mark on Sunday.
Western Stima will be in search of their first win in three games that will considerably ease their relegation worries.
Nakumatt beat Western Stima 2-0 in the first leg in April, in their first ever meeting at this level.
Zoo Kericho v Nzoia Sugar (Kericho Green Stadium, 3pm)
Nzoia Sugar will come into this match buoyed by recent impressive 3-0 and 3-1 victories over Bandari and Muhoroni Youth respectively.
Zoo Kericho will benefit from the return of young sensation Nicholas Kipkurui who was serving a one-match suspension for collecting five yellow cards.
The two teams played to a 1-1 draw in their first leg match on April 22.