Thika United and Sofapaka are not strange bedfellows but it is safe to say that the talking point of the two team’s SportPesa Premier League (SPL) clash at Thika sub- county Stadium on Saturday should be centred on one Timothy Luda.
During the mini-transfer window last month, Sofapaka lured new players in a rebuilding process among them Luda, a striker, who was plucked from Thika United where he carved a niche for himself after he emerged the highest scorer in the team last season.
Granted, Luda is fast growing into a formidable striker and whether he will come to haunt his former employers at a place he once called home remains to be seen. What is almost certain is that the match will be a cliff-hanger and whose result will lead to a significant change in the positions which the two teams occupy.
Thika United, buoyed by a 3-0 win over minnows Young Divers in the GOtv round of 32, will need to heed the instructions of Coach Nicholas Muyoti and Technical Director James Nandwa to have the job done before the team faithful. For Sofapaka, Luda, Ali Feni and Morven Otinya are the men who will be shouldered with the task of keeping Thika’s defence on its toes.
Meanwhile, Bandari who shockingly eliminated Gor Mahia from the Gotv Shield Cup last week will be seeking to administer the same dose to AFC Leopards when the two teams face off at Mbaraki Sports ground.
Bandari have a penchant of rising to the occasion when least expected and perhaps the men who Leopards will fail to mark at their own peril are Tanzanian wonder-boy Cosmas Juma and the evergreen Shaban Kenga.
It was Juma who was Bandari’s destroyer-in-chief of Gor in the GOtv duel when he scored in open play before K’ogalo equalised, sending the game into penalty shoot-out which the dockers eventually won.
But Leopards also have their own men capable of executing ‘massacre’ among them Keziron Kizito who was sourced from Uganda and roving Burundian player Alexis Kitenge.
Elsewhere in Machakos, Kenyatta Stadium is expected to fill to the brim when Kariobangi Sharks entertain Kakamega Homeboyz. Both teams are currently playing fantastic football but it will all depend on who will take their chances to put the game to bed.
Sharks are expected to play against the backdrop of missing Ovella Ochieng and Patillah Omotto who are with the SportPesa Allstar team that is gearing up for the historic tour of Spain later this month. On Sunday, Zoo Kericho have a dtae with Chemelil Sugar at the Kericho Green Stadium.