NAIROBI, August 28 – Gor Mahia’s steamship that is sailing full steam ahead to their third successive SportPesa Premier League (SPL) title is docked in Mombasa as the champions prepare to take maximum points from homse side Bandari on Saturday.
Victory will leave K’Ogalo needing only two victories to wrap the title after they were awarded a 2-0 victory from the abandoned Mashemeji Derby against arch-rivals AFC Leopards pending any appeal.
Leopards who remain stuck in fifth face bogey side Chemelil Sugar at Nairobi’s City Stadium in their last fixture before they play their next two without their fans.
Ingwe were ordered by the league’s Independent Disciplinary and Complains Committee to play against Western Stima and Sofapaka without the sound of Isikuti drumming after their fans caused chaos during their fixture at Thika United in July.
And with Leopards failing to end Gor’s 22-match unbeaten run, its now the turn of Bandari to fancy their chances in stopping the Cecafa Kagame Cup beaten finalists, who have a poor away record against the Dockers.
K’Ogalo have only managed to beat Bandari at home once in their last three trips to the dockyard in the second-leg of the 2013 season where the back-to-back champions won 1-0.
Gor are aiming for the double against the famously stubborn port siders after a 2-1 victory in the first leg.
Lethal striker and top scorer, Michael Olunga who is in South Africa for trials at Premier Soccer League side, Bidvest Wits will be missing but head coach Frank Nuttal has potent replacements in George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo, Timothy Otieno and Enock Agwanda available for selection.
Bandari welcome back skipper and custodian, Wilson Obungu as well as forward Alfred Oluoch who served their suspensions after missing their last clash against Mathare United that ended 1-1.
The pair will be instrumental to head coach, Twahir Muhiddin who has gone four matches without a loss with Obungu expected to start in between the sticks against a Gor side who will be led out in attack byMeddie Kagere.
OIuoch, on the other hand is likely to join forwards Victor Ndinya, David King’atua and George Abege who will be tasked to break though Gor’s back line of captain, Musa Mohammed, Harun Shakava, Abuoba Sibomana and Karim Nizigiyimana.
Collins Okoth, Ugandan duo of Khalid Aucho and Godfrey Walusimbi are expected to marshal Gor’s midfield as Innocent Wafula and Ali Abondo do their duties on the flanks.
Former, K’Ogalo winger Shaban Kenga, Musa Mudde and Anthony Kimani lead Bandari’s midfield charge.
A win for Nuttall charges will see them inch closer to retaining the title while an upset will see the Dockers increase their chances of finishing top eight.
Troubled Leopards will be seeking to put their put their off the field woes aside to try and get to back to winning ways.
There is pressure for the cash-strapped 13-time champions to perform against a Chemelil side fighting relegation after experiencing a tough season that has seen them register only four wins.
Leopard will be hoping to see goalkeeper Lucas Indeche display the same stellar performance as he did against K’Ogalo.
However, Chemelil will be motivated by their 1-0 win over Nakuru All Stars in their previous encounter that saw them pick first victory in 14.
The two sides shared the spoils in their first-leg and this could be another close affair bearing in mind the Millers enjoy a better head- to-head record where Leopards have only managed a single win in eight matches.
In other fixtures, Muhoroni Youth will be hoping to stretch their unbeaten run to 11 when they host struggling KCB, Nakuru All Stars will be out to bounce back from Chemelil’s 1-0 loss when they welcome Thika United at Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium.
Mathare United will look to redeem themselves after dropping points against Bandari when they travel to Awendo to face Sony Sugar.
Fri 28-08-15 17:00 Ushuru vs Tusker Nyayo Stadium
Fri 28-08-15 19:15 City Stars vs Western Stima Nyayo Stadium
Sat 29-08-15 13:00 AFC Leopards vs Chemelil Sugar City Stadium
Sat 29-08-15 15:00 Bandari vs Gor Mahia Mombasa County Stadium
Sat 29-08-15 15:00 Muhoroni Youth vs KCB Muhoroni Stadium
Sat 29-08-15 15:00 Nakuru All Stars vs Thika United Afraha Stadium
Sun 30-08-15 15:00 SonySugar vs Mathare United Awendo Green Stadium