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Gor scent league title number 18 in Machakos

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Gor Mahia players celebrate Jacques Tuyisenge’s goal against AFC Leopards during the Mashemeji Derby at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on May 19, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 – Gor Mahia will be crowned champions of the Kenyan Premier League for the 18th time on Wednesday evening if they pick maximum points against relegation fighting Vihiga United at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

With three matches to go, Gor are eight points ahead of second placed Bandari and victory will pull them 11 clear and it won’t matter whether or not the dockers win away to Mathare United at the Kasarani Stadium.

Gor can still be crowned champions if both them and Bandari lose or draw. Despite being so close to glory head coach Hassan Oktay has remained modest and says his team will give their all in all three remaining games.

“We respect every opponent and we will give our best in every game. We are not looking at the title, we are looking at playing our games well,” the tactician stated.

Gor Mahia come into the midweek tie with boosted confidence after their win in the Mashemeji Derby on Sunday and also with the fact that three points guarantees them the title.

But, they come up against a Vihiga side needing a win or a point at all costs to keep their hopes of survival alive. A loss today against Gor coupled with a win for Zoo Kericho on Thursday against Tusker FC will see them inch closer to relegation.

Tusker FC midfielder Sidney Ochieng vies for the ball with Zoo Kericho’s Isaac Kipyegon during a Kenyan Premier League match at the Ruaraka Complex on Sunday, August 19, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Vihiga are three points below Zoo in the standings and if results go this way, then it will mean they will be six points adrift with two matches left.

Zoo will then need just a point to ensure that they will not be relegated automatically but in the least have a chance to be in the play-off.

For automatic promotion, a win will be vital for Zoo especially if Chemelil, who are two points ahead of them, drop points against Sofapaka in Machakos on Wednesday.

Posta Rangers and Western Stima also have an outside chance of dropping down as they are on 31 and 32 points respectively. The two clash in Kisumu and whoever wins the tie will all but assure themselves of a place in top flight football next season.

-Sofapaka, Bandari fight for second

Meanwhile, Batoto ba Mungu and Bandari will be squaring it out for second place with each looking to finish behind Gor. Bandari are four points clear of Sofapaka and both will be out to win on Wednesday before they clash on Sunday in Mombasa.

Sofapaka head coach John Baraza gestures during a training session at the Eastleigh High School on May 20, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Sofapaka tactician John Baraza believes they can finish at second spot and has urged his side to pick maximum points in the games remaining.

“I know we face touugh games but our ultimate goal now is to finish in that number two slot. Chemelil is a tough team even though we beat them in the first leg, we know they will be coming in for revenge. They are also not in a good position in the standings and they will come all out to win,” Baraza stated.

Apart from seeking second spot, striker Umaru Kasumba will be looking to catch up with top scorer Allan Wanga who is on 18 goals. Kasumba took his tally to 17 with the equalizing goal in the weekend 1-1 draw with Nzoia and will be looking to catch up with Wanga.

Wanga will be leading his Homeboyz side against Sony Sugar in Kakamega and will also look to bang in a goal or two to remain on the clear in the golden boot chase.

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