NAIROBI, Kenya, March 28- AFC Leopards forward Allan Wanga, has been sidelined for two weeks after a recurrence of his knee injury as Ingwe host giant killers Tor Fry Nakuru at the Mumias Sports Complex in a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clash on Saturday.
Speaking to Capital Sport Friday from Mumias, coach James Nandwa, confirmed the Harambee Stars striker is not in South Africa for trials as reported in sections of local media but he was with the team in the western part of the country.
“Those are rumors, Wanga is going no where, I have seen some of the media reports that he is in South Africa, yet we are with him here. It’s only that he will not be available tomorrow (Saturday) when we face Top Fry since his knee injury got worse leaving us with no option but to be without him in the next three games.
“We are prepared to play Top Fry which is a good team so we are not going to underrate them especially after seeing them beat the champions. We will be cautious when attacking since we have a good finishing and I’m sure if we utilize our chances we will win so that we can show our fans who are impatient that all is not lost,” Nandwa asserted.
He added striker Jacob Keli who was signed from KCB in the close season has not also gone for trials as rumoured by reports and would lead the line against Top Fry who stunned Gor 2-0 in Nakuru last weekend.
The beleaguered head coach revealed they had switched the match from it’s original venue, Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium for the team to prepare under less pressure as well as in the hope they will get better luck at Mumias as they chase a second victory in the KPL.
Skipper Martin Imbalambala, custodian Wycliffe Kasaya and winger Noah Wafula are the other crocked key players adding woes to a side that is hovering above the relegation zone with a win, four draws and a loss thus far.
It will be a tricky fixture for the national team assistant coach bearing in mind the new comers will approach the match with their heads high after humbling Leopards’ rivals Gor Mahia 2-0.
According to the soft spoken coach, he will make few adjustments from the squad that was forced to a 0-0 stalemate against Chemelil last weekend with Augustine Etemesi, Bernard Mang’oli, Musa Mudde, Oscar Kadenge, Charles Okwemba and Ezekiel Seda up for selection in the midfield while Paul Were, Hassan Muhammad, Michael Khamati and Keli will front the attack.
In the absence of Imbalambala, Nandwa will field Edwin Wafula, Titus Wamalwa, James Situma and Jackson Saleh at the back with Martin Musalia still holding brief for Kasaya.
Their opponents led by stand-in coach Peter Okidi, are rejuvenated with their main striker John Ndirangu, who notched the brace against K’Ogalo to give them their first win of the season sending a warning to Leopards.
“It will not be an easy game because we are plying away against a side that will be preparing for us especially after Gor win but we will give it our best,” Ndirangu stated.
This is the first time the two sides are meeting with both of them having only one win after six rounds.
Will the debutants pull another shock result this time round against Ingwe?
In other top cream fixtures, K’Ogalo will travel to Bandari seeking to stop their three winless streak against the dockers who have lost four games to see them placed 14th with three points after winning only once.
A win for coach Twahir Muhiddin will ease the pain on heart broken coast fans who expected the side to push for the title this season but are facing a wounded giant keen to bounce back after their loss to Top Fry and 1-1 midweek stalemate against nine-man log leaders Tusker.
Coach Bobby Williamson will bank on Kevin Omondi, Dan Sserunkuma, Bandari’s former winger Shaban Kenga and Timonah Wanyonyi to sink the dockers after they impressed during the Tusker game where Gor had themselves to blame for allowing their title rivals back to the game after seixzing the initiative.
Leaders Tusker will be away to Muhoroni who are bubbling under new coach Francis Baraza who sets up his sides not to lose while 2009 champions Sofapaka invite Nairobi City Stars at Machakos’ Kenyatta Stadium.
Chemelil welcome KRA as Western Stima will be away in Nairobi to square it out with KCB.
New coach Robert Matano will parade Ulinzi Stars against Thika United at their Afraha Stadium backyard in Nakuru before Sony Sugar takes on Mathare United at Awendo Green Stadium.