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Stars set for Equatorial Guinea friendly

Stars head coach, Bobby Williamson, leads training ahead of Saturday's Ethiopia clash at Nyayo. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Stars head coach, Bobby Williamson, leads training when the team was preparing for CHAN qualifier opener against Ethiopia in July. PHOTO/Courtesy

NAIROBI, August 21 – Harambee Stars are set to host 2015 AFCON fourth finishers Equatorial Guinea in an international friendly on September 8 in Nairobi.

The build-up will come two days after the national team clash with 2012 champions, Zambia, in their second 2017 Gabon AFCON qualifier at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.

Head coach Bobby Williamson who released his provisional squad of 30 players led by captain and Southampton midfielder, Victor Wanyama, will assemble his team August 31 when they report residential training camp.

Stars who jointly lead Group E with Congo Brazzaville after both side played to a 1-1 draw in their opener with Equatorial Guinea and Zambia propping the log with all on a point apiece, face a strong Equatorial Guinea side ranked 54 places above them in  FIFA rankings.

Against the Chipolopolo, Stars will be seeking to make good use of their home turf to collect maximum points that will put them on track of returning to the continental showpiece for the first time since 2004.

This is after the group was thrown wide open following a barren draw against Zambia and minnows Guinea.

The Scotsman had on Tuesday released a squad of 15 local based players ahead of the assignment where champions Gor Mahia and Tusker FC dominate the list.

Lethal striker, Michael Olunga, keeper Boniface Oluoch, defender Harun Shakava and midfielder Collins Okoth are the K’Ogalo players whilst the Brewers has SportPesa Premier League top scorer, Jesse Were and midfield trio of Humphrey Mieno, Noah Wafula and Danson Kago.

AFC Leopards and Thika United share two each in defenders Edwin Wafula (Leopards) and Dennis Odhiambo (Thika) as well as midfielders, Bernard Mang’oli (Leopards) and Sammy Meja (Thika).

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The Football Kenya Federation Premier League will be represented by former AFC Leopards keeper, Wycliffe Kasaya (Nakumatt FC) and fellow custodian, Ian Otieno (Posta Rangers).

The local based players will be joined by former captain and record scorer, Dennis Oliech, defensive midfielder, Macdonald Mariga and Norway-based first choice keeper, Arnold Origi who are among those returning to the side that has 15 foreign based players.

Bobby Williamson’s charges are scheduled to play Mauritius away in the opening tie of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualifiers October 7.

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