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Stima, Thika in do-or-die SPL fixtures

For Western Stima and Thika United, it will be either swim or sink as they face tricky matches this weekend, which might as well determine their destiny in the SportPesa Premier League (SPL). Both teams are staring at relegation in the face and as Stima stalk Ulinzi Stars at Moi Stadium on Sunday, Thika United will be in Nairobi as guests of Tusker in Ruaraka.

It was already coronated champions Gor Mahia who piled more misery on Stima this week in Nairobi after pelting them 2-1 and any further loss by the latter will all but condemn them to the second-tier National Super League next year.

Soon after Stima succumbed to Gor, the team coach Richard Makumi conceded that his charges have been misfiring and that has to change. “Goals are the ones which count in a match and if you cannot translate chances, then winning becomes a pipedream,” said Makumi.

Like Stima, the performance of Thika United doesn’t make a comfortable reading and the team, which is placed at the 16th spot in the 18-team chart, has no choice but devise a strategy to tame Tusker. This is quite a tall order for Stima in a weekend marked by nine matches.

In the meantime, Sofapaka have declared that they will not press the panic buttons despite facing Sony Sugar in a crucial away match in Awendo on Sunday. Awendo Green Stadium in Awassi is considered one of the dreariest hunting grounds in the KPL in which most clubs struggle to reap maximum points at the expense of Sony.

However, Sofapaka will be out to prove that this is an implausible belief that should be treated with the contempt it deserves as they plot on the downfall of Sony in their quest to wind up second in the KPL.

Sofapaka may not be heading into the Awendo match with a swagger, having inexplicably settled for a barren draw with Mathare United in Narok last Wednesday, but Ssimbwa believes his team can win convincingly against the hosts to attain their ambitions “We are focused and I guess we are moving in the right direction.

We want to wind up the league strongly and I have instructed the players in the first eleven and even those who will be introduced in the game to give the Sony match their best shot,” said Ssimbwa.

In Nairobi, there will be a double header on Sunday, the first match pitting Mathare United against Nzoia Sugar at 2.00 pm before AFC Leopards entertain Nakumatt at 4.15 pm.

Leopards will be seeking for improved fortunes after they were stunned 2-0 by Nzoia Sugar in Mumias last Wednesday. Fixtures Saturday-Kakamega Homeboyz v Chemelil Sugar (Mumias 3.00 pm), K/Sharks v Muhoroni Youth (Kasarani 3.00 pm) Sunday-Gor Mahia v Zoo Kericho (Afraha 3.00 pm), Western Stima v Ulinzi Stars (Moi, Kisumu 3.00 pm), Tusker v Thika United (Ruaraka 3.00 pm), AFC Leopards v Nakumatt (Kasarani 3.00 pm), Mathare United v Nzoia Sugar (Kasarani 2.00 pm), Sony Sugar v Sofapaka (Awendo 3.00 pm), Bandari v Posta Rangers (Mbaraki, Mombasa 3.00 pm).

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