NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23- Hot on the heels of a 3-0 thrashing in the GOtv Shield three weeks ago, Western Stima have vowed to pile more misery on AFC Leopards as they two sides clash at the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Stima head coach Henry Omino, though expecting a tough enocunter from the 12th placed Ingwe says he is confident his team can pick the valuable three points on the road and climb to third.
“They will definitely be coming for revenge and it will not be an easy match. But this is a side I have enjoyed good results against and my boys know what it takes to win against them. I am confident if we get our things right, we will leave with the three points,” Omino said.
Over the last 15 league meetings between these two sides, Stima have won six times, lost a similar number and drawn three.
But worrying to Omino and his charges is the fact they have never beaten Leopards in Nairobi, having only picked two draws in the seven times they have faced Leopards on the road.
But that is a statistic Omino is keen to erase and having already beaten the struggling Ingwe twice already this season, he will be forgiven for turning his confidence into arrogance.
Leopards are struggling to find their feet and have won only one of their last five matches. They have drawn twice and lost a similar number.
The caretaker coaching team of Ezekiel Akwana and Nicholas Muyoti will be keen to guide the team back to winning ways especially basing their fight for a top half finish.
They are placed 12th with 29 points, five off the top eight and they will be desperate for a win to push themselves up the standings.
Stima on the other hand have an outside chance of winning the title currently placed fourth on the standings with 37 points, 11 behind leaders Tusker who won 2-1 against Muhoroni Youth on Friday. A win will take them to 40, eight off the pace with five matches to go.
Another side which will be hoping to keep their outside chances alive is Ulinzi Stars who will be travelling to Chemelil Sugar to take on the sugar millers. Also on 37 points, Benjamin Nyangweso and his charges will be taking their full arsenal to the sugar belt hoping to keep the winning momentum.
Ulinzi has not won a domestic title since their KPL Top 8 conquest in 2011 and they are hungry to have something this season.
Right back Brian Birgen says the team cannot afford to finish the season without a piece of silverware and has called on his side to put in an extra shift in the final two months of the season.
“We have a chance in the league, I still believe it is not lost. But the best chance we have this season is the GOtv Shield and I am confident we can go for it. We cannot afford to go another season trophy-less. For a big team such as ours, it is not acceptable,” Birgen opined.
Looking forward to the Chemelil back, the utility player knows it will be no mean task despite easily beating the sugar millers 3-0 in the GOtv Shield last month.
“Chemelil are usually a tough side at their backyard and we know what to expect. We have prepared well for the game and we just need to go there and give our best,” he added.
Ulinzi will miss the services of defender Sylus Shitote and midfielder Boniface Onyango who are nursing toe and hamstring injuries respectively.
KPL Weekend fixtures
Saturday: AFC Leopards v Western Stima (Nyayo Stadium, 3 p.m.), Chemelil Sugar v Ulinzi Stars (Chemelil Complex, 2 p.m.), Bandari v City Stars (Mbaraki Complex, 3 p.m.), Kakamega Homeboyz v Ushuru FC (Mumias Complex 3 p.m.).
Sunday: Mathare United v Posta Rangers (2 p.m.), Gor Mahia v Sofapaka (Nyayo Stadium, 4 p.m.), Thika United v Sony Sugar (Thika Stadium, 3 p.m.).