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Pienaar, Osman tip Sharks to overcome Everton challenge

Everton Football Club legends Leon Osman (L) and Steven Pienaar (R) in Kenya ahead of the Everton, Kariobangi Sharks friendly. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 4 – Ahead of Sunday’s mega friendly match pitting host Kariobangi Sharks and English Premier League side Everton FC, the former Toffees players Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman have tipped the Kenyan Premier League club to overcome the challenge when the two sides clash at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani.

The two are in Kenya as the advance team ahead of the Everton team that is scheduled to arrive Saturday, the eve of the match that sees Everton visit Kenya for the first time but will be the third time playing a Kenyan side after taking on record 18-time KPL winners Gor Mahia twice and now Sharks.

Sharks got the opportunity to play against the English Premier League side that features the likes of England winger Theo Walcott, after edging out Bandari FC 1-0 in this year’s SportPesa Super Cup hosted in Dar es Salaam.

The William Muluya side will be looking to make history to be the first side to beat Everton after the English club beat Gor Mahia 4-0 in a friendly match played in 2018 at the Goodison Park.

However, Osman, who spent most of his football career at Everton from 2000-2016, has called on Sharks not to be over excited and think of being scouted but to be calm and play as a team.

Steven Pienaar is the Everton ambassador. Photo/MOSES MUOKI

“There is a tendency to get nervous or over exited for a big challenge like this for the Sharks so I will advise them to play normal game, make sure they don’t come out of the field with any energy leave it all out there,” Osman outlined in an interview with Capital FM Sport.

He added, “Everton’s fitness level won’t be there so there is an opportunity to take an advantage of that but the Sharks have to try not to be thinking of being scouted, try not to be thinking what is far away in the distance just concentrate in just that one game and try get good results.”

On his part Pienaar was optimistic Sharks will shine but urged them to approach the match cautiously.

“I will urge them to play the normal game as they did last season, enjoy it and have fun, take the game to Everton, it’s a big game for them, hopefully a few players can shine on the day,” Pienaar, the former Bafana Bafana captain said.

“We are here not just for the game; we have come here with a number of Everton community coaches to get to know the local community and also make good relationship as well as conduct the kits for Africa initiative as we did last time,” Osman said.

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