NAIROBI, Kenya, November 11- Manchester United target and Celtics FC midfield sensation, Victor Wanyama as well as Norway based keeper, Arnold Origi will not feature in Kenya’s friendly with Tanzania in Mwanza on Wednesday, head coach Henri Michel confirmed Monday.
Wanyama, who scored against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League, last week is out due to an undisclosed illness while Origi who turns out for Ull/Kisa has been given leave by Harambee Stars management after playing too many games for his club.
“We have only 48 hours to prepare for this game and it is a pity that Wanyama and Origi cannot join this camp. It would have been interesting to have them in camp but it gives an opportunity to other players to show what they can do.
“We hope to have a good result in Tanzania and we did not want to force the two to come even if it was a FIFA friendly as the rules say since we want to cultivate a good working relationship with the clubs in future especially when we need them for crucial games,” Michel said after conducting the final training session with the team on Monday evening before their departure to Tanzania.
Michel has called up Ulinzi Stars FC custodian, Jacktone Odhiambo to take the place of Origi but with the returning Patrick Osiako and Jerry Santos who missed the 2-1 friendly loss to South Africa last month are available for selection for the Tanzania tie.
At the same time, the Frenchman reiterated the regional CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup competition that start on November 24 in Uganda did not remain his priority.
“For now, we are thinking in Tanzania and as for CECAFA, what is more important for this country? Performing well at the Africa Home Nation Championships (CHAN) or CECAFA?
“After the Tanzania game, we will speak with the federation to see what to do about CECAFA and CHAN. What I want from the players is to show the same spirit we showed against South Africa and improving on the mistakes that made us lose the game.”
The Mwanza match will be the tenth meeting with Kenya winning 2-1 the last time they met in 2009 as Michel seeks to improve his team’s FIFA ranking of 130.
“There is nothing that can be done about our ranking in the world other than ensuring we play in as many games that count and do well. A lot of work needs to be done to take the ranking higher.
“That is why we need the same behaviour and attitude we saw against South Africa,” he added.
The team is set to depart on Tuesday for their match.
Goalkeepers: Jacktone Odhiambo (Ulinzi Stars), Fredrick Onyango (Gor Mahia)
Defenders: Simiyu Wafula (AFC Leopards), Eugene Asike( Sofapaka), Geoffrey Kokoyo (Ulinzi Stars), James Mulinge (Ulinzi Stars), Brian Mandela (Santos), Christopher Wekesa (Gor Mahia, James Situma (Sofapaka )
Midfielders: Jerry Santos (Coastal Union, Peter Opiyo (Tusker), Charles Okwemba (AFC Leopards), Patrick Osiako (Hapoel Be’er Sheva), Francis Kahata (Thika United), Andrew Tololwa (Mathare United), Osborne Monday (Sofapaka)
Forwards: Dennis Oliech (Auxerre), Wesley Kemboi (Western Stima), Moses Arita (Thika United), Ayub Timbe (RC Genk), Patrick Oboya (MFK Ruzomberok)