NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9- Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr has hinted that he will once again rotate his squad for their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clash against Nzoia Sugar in Machakos on Sunday.
Kerr says this will be a move to keep the core of his squad fresh ahead of their potential history making clash against Esperance in the CAF Champions League first round return tie in Tunisia on March 17.
“I definitely will and I don’t think I have much of a choice. Look we have a huge game against Esperance on the 17th and we have a very good chance of making it. I would want to have a strong squad to get a good result. Also, this game against Nzoia will be a chance to the other players to show they deserve to be in that travelling team,” Kerr said.
With a particular keen eye on success in continental football, Kerr has not used a consistent starting team in all his first five KPL matches, choosing to give an opportunity to the rookie players who have not disappointed.
K’Ogalo leads the KPL log with 13 points having won four and drawn one of their opening five fixtures and Kerr hopes the team can keep the streak running against a tricky Nzoia side.
“Every team that comes to play against Gor Mahia gives their best because they want to open the papers the next day and see that they beat us. Nzoia is a tough team and this will not be an easy walk for us,” the tactician offered.
-Facing former side-
Three ex-Nzoia Sugar players will potentially line up against their former employers.
Despite joining Gor from the sugar millers at the beginning of last season, this will be the first time that defender Joachim Oluoch will have a chance of facing his ex-team.
Also lining up against the sugar belt side for the first time is midfielder Lawrence Juma who left the team at the end of last season. Winger Boniface Omondi will also be facing his former team.
Nzoia lost both their maiden league meetings against Gor Mahia last season, losing 1-0 in the first leg in Mumias while the second leg in Kisumu ended in an embarrassing 4-0 loss.
Bernard Mwalala’s young side has not had a good start to the season especially after the exit of key players and only won their first match of the season last weekend with a 3-1 thrashing of Kakamega Homeboyz.
This came after a run of four back to back losses against Kariobangi Sharks, Mathare United, Nakumatt and Tusker.
They should expect a tough encounter against K’Ogalo with Kerr having asked them to show the same enthusiasm they did against Esperance on Wednesday.
“I want that same kind of performance from the first to last minute of the game. That is how we should play week in week out and the players know what I want and what I demand for them. I want a headache for myself when selecting the team to go to Esperance,” the tactician said.
The tie will be one of three fixtures set for Sunday with Nakumatt taking on Chemelil in the early fixture in Machakos while in Mombasa, Bandari will be taking on Sony Sugar.
Kenyan Premier League weekend fixtures:
Saturday: Kariobangi Sharks v Sofapaka, Mathare United v AFC Leopards (Machakos), Kakamega Homeboyz v Ulinzi Stars (Bukhungu), Posta Rangers v Wazito (Narok), Tusker FC v Thika United (Ruaraka), Zoo Kericho v Vihiga United (Kericho).
Sunday: Bandari v Sony Sugar (Mombasa), Nakumatt v Chemelil, Gor Mahia v Nzoia Sugar (Machakos).