NAIROBI, Kenya, April 8 – Champions Gor Mahia have been lifted by the return of Harambee Stars duo stopper David ‘Calabar’ Owino and left back Musa Mohammed when they host struggling KCB at Nairobi’s City Stadium in one of the eight Kenyan Premier League (KPL) mid-week fixtures lined up for Wednesday.
The duo will be making a come back after missing Tusker and Bandari ties with Owino picking a knock during their 2-0 loss at Top Fry Nakuru while Mohammed was out of the country for trials in South Africa.
However, it’s not yet a full house for K’Ogalo because holding midfielder Anthony Akumu, is still sidelined after missing a couple of training sessions but coach Bobby Williamson, is under no stress ahead of Wednesday’s tie despite going four matches without victory.
“Pressure is always there, it’s just finding players who can handle it but for me I’m an experienced coach and having managed a national team that had a lot of pressure, I can leave with it as long as players put to practice in the game what we teach them.
“Some fans need to support the team when we are loosing too, and if they do that we will work hard and make sure we don’t disappoint them. I’m not happy with the results at the moment since our desire was to win all seven matches but since we have already lost two, there is no harm. We will build on that and hopefully register victory against KCB,” the former Uganda Cranes tactician told Capital Sport after conducting training at Nairobi’s City Stadium Tuesday.
“It’s unfortunate we have lost our matches to bottom teams and we are facing another struggling team, that makes it tricky since they might be motivated by our loss. So we are taking no chances but to win the match since anyone can beat anyone in the competitive league,” he added.
Both teams enter the match wounded having lost their last encounters where reigning champions were humbled 2-1 at Bandari as the bankers went down 3-0 to visiting Western Stima.
The Scotsman is expected to field a strong first XI with the defence standing tall after all their back four (Godfrey Walusimbi, Mohammed, Haron Shakava and Owino) available for selection with Ugandan Geoffrey Kizito, stepping in for Akumu alongside teenager Timona Wanyonyi, Kevin Omondi and Innocent Mutiso in the midfield.
Winger Shaban Kenga and talisman Dan Sserunkuma, will be up front.
On the other hand the bankers who are yet to win a match will highly depend on former K’Ogalo forward Paul Kiongera, Andrew Murunga, Francis Ouma and Ezekiel Odera for their first win of the season.
Apart from winning, Gor will also be going for revenge after KCB beat them 2-0 in their last encounter as they celebrated winning the title after 18 years in their last game of last season.
Newcomers KRA invite AFC Leopards in a match originally scheduled for Safaricom Stadium although the ongoing vetting of youth arrested by police to ascertain nationality could yet see the fixture played elsewhere.
With only two points separating them, both sides will be eying for victory with Leopards being under the cosh after only managing two wins.
Coach James Nandwa, will not be making any changes despite keeper Wycliffe Kasaya resuming training on Monday since other injured players (forward Allan Wanga, captain Martin Imbalambala, winger Noah Wafula and defender Anthony Kimani) are still out.
On the other hand Ken Kenyatta’s side will miss the services of dependable midfielder Roy Okal and forward Collins Tiego, who sneaked out of the country to go for trials but the former Leopards custodian says he is upbeat for a win.
At Ruaraka Sports Ground, league leaders Tusker will hope to continue with their unbeaten run when they welcome Sony Sugar.
Both teams recorded draws last time out with Brewers coach Francis Kimanzi, forced to rest some of his players in their Sunday KPL Top 8 match where they beat Sofapaka 6-5 on post-match penalties.
In other fixtures, Sofapaka battle out with Mathare United at Machakos’ Kenyatta Stadium while Muhoroni Youth will be away to take on Thika United at City.
New Nairobi City Stars coach Tim Bryett will make his debut against Chemelil Sugar at Nairobi’s World Hope Center as Top Fry Nakuru play Bandari at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.
In Mumias, Western Stima will square it out with Ulinzi Stars.