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Karuturi braced for Bankers

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 15- Kenya Premier League (KPL) action moves to the lakeside town of Naivasha this Saturday as Karuturi Sports host KCB from 3pm.This will be followed by a double-header on Sunday with Nairobi City Stars entertaining Ulinzi Stars from 2pm, followed by a mouth-watering clash between an in-form Gor Mahia and league leaders Tusker from 4pm at City Stadium.

Naivasha is famous for floriculture but this season Karuturi Sports has put it on the map for footballing reasons with a series of impressive performances that saw them finish fourth in the first leg.

The Flowermen, however, are in a sticky patch of form having gone four matches without a win going back to May 8. Karuturi, though, have a great record at home having lost just once this season and thrashed KCB 4-0 in the first leg so KCB will have its work cut out.

The Bankers are a far cry from the team that started the season with three wins out of three. They have lost two of their last three matches and have conceded the highest number of goals in the league.

On Sunday, Nairobi City Stars will seek to build on their 3-1 win over Posta Rangers last weekend when they host high-flying Ulinzi Stars.

The Kawangware side are draw specialists in the league having drawn more than half its league matches so far, so Sunday will tell us whether the Rangers result was a turn of fortunes or a happy accident.

They face an Ulinzi side in fine form and whose physical attributes are legendary, making them hard to break down.
A miserly defence is their strongest point – they have the best defensive record in the league – with Mulinge Munandi, Hussein Mohammed, Geoffrey Kokoyo and Francis Ocholla forming a formidable barrier in front of keeper Francis Ochieng.

The Tusker-Gor Mahia clash will be one for the ages as in a clash of contrasting styles pitting the physically imposing Brewers against the speed and youthful zest of Kogalo.

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Tusker showed courage to come back from behind against Sofapaka last weekend despite being reduced to 10 men. They will need more of the same if they are to get something from the game.

Jeffery Oyando will be missing for Tusker after being sent off last weekend with Anthony Khadudu set to deputise while coach James Nandwa must decide whether to start sensational teenager Paul Were or use him as an impact player.

Kogalo are the most exciting team to watch in the league with George Odhiambo, Dan Makori, Anthony Akumu, Kevin Omondi and Peter Opiyo weaving deadly patterns all over the pitch.

Their 4-1 thrashing of Chemilil last weekend laid down a marker for the rest of the league and a similar performance should give their fans another reason to rally behind their beloved team.

In other matches, Afraha Stadium will be the centre of attention on Saturday when Sofapaka take on Red Berets with Harambee Stars striker Allan Wanga set to make his debut for the defending champions.

On the same day, AFC Leopards hope to bounce back from their midweek loss to Ulinzi with a win over Mahakama.

On Sunday, Thika United host Posta Rangers, Sony Sugar take on Mathare United at Awendo and Chemelil Sugar face Western Stima at Chemelil.

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