NAIROBI, Kenya, March 25- Champions Gor Mahia, will be without dependable defender David ‘Calabar’ Owino, holding midfielder Anthony Akumu and keeper David Juma, for their crunch fixture against log leaders Tusker FC in a televised mid-week Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match on Wednesday at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.
The trio picked up knocks on Saturday during Top Fry Nakuru’s tie where they suffered their first defeat of the season courtesy of John Ndirangu’s brace that saw Owino and Juma stretched off.
However, head coach Bobby Williamson, was troubled by the unavailability of his three key charges, Haron Shakava, Timona Wanyonyi and Herbert Kompany in training.
They were named in Harambee Stars Under-20 squad that is currently camping at Safaricom Kasarani Stadium ahead of their Africa Youth Championships qualifier against Tanzania on April 6.
Of the three, only defender Shakava turned up for Wednesday’s training with forwards Wanyonyi and Kompany missing though they are drafted in the Scotsman’s squad.
The former Uganda Cranes tactician revealed to Capital Sport on Tuesday they expect a difficult match since the Brewers have an advantage of leading the log.
“We are prepared for the match though we are affected by few injuries but we will give it our best. We will give other players opportunity to see what they can do but at the same time we need a positive result since we are three points behind Tusker and we don’t want the gap to get bigger because we want to get above them.
“Every game is important especially for Gor, it doesn’t matter whether we play top or bottom placed team, so tomorrow’s match is very crucial to us since our fans always want a win.
“We disappointed them on Saturday against Top Fry match and we will try not to repeat that performance,” Williamson told after conducting their training at City Stadium.
It’s expected to be a high paced and more tactical match since both sides has seasoned players and tacticians who start their build up from behind and scoring most of their goals through set pieces.
K’Ogalo left back Godfrey Walusimbi, is upbeat they will bounce back after Top Fry loss adding the defeat will not keep them off the track as they seek to beat the Brewers who have a better head to head record after overwhelming them in last season’s both legs.
“The team is good despite losing Saturday’s match but that will not affect our performance since its normal in football so we will put our heads up and look forward to win tomorrow against Tusker.
“It’s a difficult game given that they are also chasing the league and they are ahead of us with three points but it’s better we play them (Tusker) now since they are our competitors at the moment. If we beat them it will be to our advantage because we will be at par,” the Cranes defender stated.
The recovery of defenders Israel Emuge and Kevin Oluoch might have come at the right time since they are expected to partner with Solomon Nasio and Walusimbi at the back.
Ugandan Geoffrey Kizito will wear the shoes of Akumu in the central midfield assisted by Kevin Omondi, Shaban Kenga, Patrick Oboya and probably Joseph Kariuki with Jared Obwoge and Dan Sserunkuma on the attack.
Unlike Gor, the 2011 and 12 champions will enter the match motivated by their 2-1 win over Ulinzi Stars last Saturday, noting that they are yet to lose a match this season.
The on form Tusker has a depth squad that has seen them ranked as the top team that has most goals after founding the back of the net 10 times, even though Kimanzi has always been bringing in last season’s top-scorer runners up, Jesse Were as substitute.
K’Ogalo’s defence will have to be on the look out since the likes of Clifford Alwanga, Kevin Kimani and Ishmael Dunga combines well with midfielders Brian Osumba, Khalid Aucho, former Gor Ali Abondo and Osborne Monday to fire for goals.
Tusker’s back seems to stand tall with Harambee Stars Jockins Atudo leading the pack that consists of Athman Buki, Fredrick Onyango and Lloyd Wahome.
Both teams will be playing their match at hand with Tusker having the advantage of opening the gap to six points if they win while defending champions will be looking to catch up with Kimanzi’s charges that are ahead of them by three points.
Will K’Ogalo end Brewer’s clean sheet this season or will the latter continue dominance over Gor? The question will be answered on Wednesday after the center referee’s final whistle.