KISUMU, April 26 – Western Stima will host 13-time SportPesa Premier League champions AFC Leopards at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Wednesday afternoon, coming at the backdrop of Stima’s huge 2-0 win over title hopefuls Bandari at the same venue.
Stima’s head coach Henry Omino whose side has won three out of five home matches this season is beaming with confidence especially with their strong record at their backyard and he hopes his side can keep up against Leopards, a side he says will be hard to beat.
“They are coming off a match where they lost points after crowd trouble and noting they neither won the match before, it will be hard fighting against them. They are a tough side which plays as a team and for any coach playing an opponent with good team work is always tough,” Omino told Capital Sport.
“However, there is some confidence in my team. We beat a very tough Bandari side here the other day and our home record is quite superb. The league is tough and our strategy this year is to make our home ground a fortress by picking wins and we want to keep that with the AFC game,” Omino added.
Only five points separate the two sides and Omino will look to bridge the gap with maximum points in Kisumu. The last time these two sides met at the Moi Stadium turf, Stima ran out 2-1 winners.
Ingwe are three points off leaders Mathare United and a win will take them to second, only separated from the top on goal difference.
Head coach Ivan Minnaert is hoping his side can bounce back with a win despite missing defender Eugene Ambulwa who will be serving suspension after getting a red card in the match against Ulinzi Stars last weekend.
Minnaert says he is hoping for the recovery of three of his key players; Victor Omune, Andrew Tololwa and Yussuf Juma ahead of the tough encounter which he is positive they can pick up good results.
“It is not an easy match for us but I am hoping that we can recover after failing to win in the last two matches. It is important for us to get back to winning. It will be a blow to miss Ambulwa but hopefully we manage,” the Belgian tactician said.
In the absence of Ambulwa, Minnaert might look on to pull Cresten Mwanzo back to central defence from right back with Solomon Nasio starting there. Another option at central defence would be Israel Emuge but the coach might not want to gamble with the Ugandan who is yet to play this season.