NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – High flying champions and leaders Gor Mahia travel to Mumias to face the in form surprise package Chemelil Sugar in the highlight Kenyan Premier League (KPL) midweek tie on Thursday.
It will be first versus second in the competition as Chemelil seek to end a four year winless streak against the champions when the table-toppers lock horns at Mumias Sports Complex in a live clash as KPL resumes after the international break.
On Wednesday, 2011 and 12 champions; Tusker FC will be away to Nairobi City Stars while Sofapaka invite Bandari at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos in an early fixture before bottom side Top Fry Nakuru square it out with Mathare United at the same venue in a televised double header.
Newcomer KRA will host Thika United as Muhoroni Youth welcome Ulinzi Stars.
Attention however, turns to Mumias where the sugar millers who have started the season unbeaten in 12 are out to claw the four points that separates them from K’Ogalo at the summit.
On the other hand the champions have made mockery of their off field woes ranging from financial constraints to midfielder Patrick Oboya’s ban by Fifa to sustain a winning momentum.
They will be forced to enter the clash without their assistant coach John ‘Bobby’ Ogola who is admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital.
Head coach Bobby Williamson is set to be without midfielder Innocent Mutiso who is nursing a knock picked last month while playing against Thika United in the Top 8 and keeper David Juma who twisted his ankle at Monday’s training.
“I expect the match to be tough since we will be playing a strong side and for us to finish the first leg on top, we have to win on Thursday.
“I expect to have my players who are on duty with the national team to join our training tomorrow because they are key players that we cannot afford to miss,” the Scotsman told Capital Sport.
Captain and first choice keeper Jerim Onyango, dependable defender David ‘Calabar’ Owino and midfielder Anthony Akumu are in Harambee Stars squad but will travel for the crunch tie.
Coming from a 2-1 win over Sofapaka, K’Ogalo cannot afford to lose since a reverse will see Chemelil cut the lead to a point.
His opposite number, Mike Mururi on the other hand has a full squad to choose from.
At the Hope Center in Kawangware, the Brewers will be looking to collect their second successive win after thrashing KRA 3-1 at Kinoru Stadium in Meru County.
A win for City Stars will lift them above the relegation zone, but it will not be easy to beat Kimanzi’s charges keen to stagger to the top.
In Machakos, Batoto Ba Mungu who have gone three successive matches without winning will face an improved Dockers side that has played six without losing.
However, the 2009 champions will face a major blow since regular defender Collins Shivachi is serving a two-match ban following a red card he received at Western Stima.
The visitors are not spared either because they will be without defender Shariff Mohammed who was slapped with a one match ban after accumulating five yellow cards.
A win for Sofapaka will see them climb to third if Tusker and KRA slip.
At Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium, the taxmen will be looking to bounce back to their winning ways when they entertain Thika United.