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Olaba under fire as Tusker, Gor return to TPL

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GOR-PLAYERS-CELEBNAIROBI, Kenya, March 8- It is only the third match into the infant Tusker Premier League (TPL) season for AFC Leopards but pressure is already on Tom ‘Timam’ Olaba to deliver a first victory for Ingwe on Sunday in Naivasha.

Elsewhere, after safely navigating their continental preliminary ties, champions Tusker FC and runners-up Gor Mahia belatedly kick off their league campaign on Saturday in a sumptuous double header at Kasarani.

Olaba is yet to taste defeat but after listless draws against Chemelil on the opening day and fellow cane cutters Sony Sugar last weekend, Ingwe fans know a win is overdue to kick-start their campaign as title contenders.

For the double serving at the Moi International Sports Centre, Tusker who dismissed St Michel 7-1 on aggregate in their CAF Champions League tie last weekend come-up against the early pretenders to their throne, KCB who have their opening two encounters with ten goals to boot in the first match.

The game expected to kick-off at 3pm will kick-start the TPL programme that was halted on Wednesday due to the ongoing tallying of votes.

Gor who blanked Anse Re-Union 5-0 in their backyard to book their passage to the first round of the CAF Confederation Cup will then entertain Sofapaka in the glamour tie of the weekend at the same venue starting from 5pm should the double header carry subject to the absence of adverse results of the General Election.

“We are raring to go in the league. The players are fine and ready. We have started behind the rest and will have to catch up but that is not an issue as long as we win our games in hand.

“The season has not started badly at all and we hope it can continue that way. KCB are playing well and will give us a real test, so we have to be expectant for it. It will be tough,” Tusker coach, Robert Matano told SuperSport.com.

After winning the SuperSport/DStv Super Cup and thrashing the Islanders, the last thing Gor coach Zradvko Logarusic needed was a stern test on K’Ogalo’s return to the competition they came close to winning last year.

Following a season peppered by a managerial see-saw at the Batoto Ba Mungu, Sofapaka have stabilised under David Ouma and their encounter with Gor is the third straight tough fixture they have featured following their narrow 1-0 win over Thika and their barren draw in Nakuru last weekend.

On Sunday, the spotlight will be on new AFC Leopards coach, Tom Olaba as he seeks a first victory in three outings when Ingwe travel to Naivasha to face Karuturi Sport.

The flowermen’s coach Michael Nam has stated his intention to claim the scalp of the team that was also close to bagging the league crown last season under Dutchman Jan Koops.

“Going into the game, both we and them badly need all the three points and we are working on our strategy – though that will be perfected when all my players come back from the election break. It is no secret that we will be going all out for a win after stumbling in the first match,” he told SuperSport.com

Defeat for Olaba will place enormous pressure on the former Harambee Stars coach at the well supported club that is known to harbour little patience for failing managers.

WEEKEND FIXTURES

SATURDAY

15:00 Tusker vs KCB- Kasarani
15:00 Sony Sugar vs Chemelil Sugar- Awendo
15:00 Muhoroni Youth vs Mathare United – Muhoroni
17:00 Sofapaka vs Gor Mahia- Kasarani

SUNDAY

Thika United vs Homeboyz- Thika
Karuturi Sports vs AFC Leopards -Karuturi
Western Stima vs Ulinzi Stars- Bukhungu
Bandari vs City Stars- Mbaraki

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