Since they dethroned Gor Mahia as the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) champions in 2016, Tusker has been likened to a lamp without kerosene and which flickers a lot before it douses.
With Gor Mahia having already reclaimed the title this season, inconsistency by Tusker has reduced them into fighting for a second place finish with their main challengers coming in form of Post Rangers, Sofapaka and Kakamega Homeboyz who are below them in the pecking order.
Last weeks’ shock 1-0 defeat by relegation-fighting Thika United is what should make Tusker unforgiving in their quest to bounce back as they face Sofapaka on Saturday in Ruaraka in what is the weekend’s highlight.
This is the same setting where Tusker’s ego was deflated by a valiant Thika United and a further slump will be unacceptable to their fans. Since Sofapaka’s red-hot striker Umaru Kasumba picked an injury which has ruled him out for the rest of the season, Batoto Ba Mungu have had a stuttering forward line which could be a blessing in disguise for Tusker.
However, that does not mean Sofapaka are short of fire-power upfront and Tusker will particularly need to keep close tabs on equally lethal Feni Ali and Ezekiel Okare. Tusker caretaker coach Francis Baraza is expected to summon players such as Boniface Muchiri, Allan Wanga, James Sutuma and Danson Kago for the immediate task.
In the meantime, the already relegated Muhoroni Youth will be eyeing to act spoilers for Mathare United when the two teams come up in the first match of the double header in Ruaraka on Saturday. Mathare are also keen on evading banishment and are expected to draw great inspiration from their 1-0 win over Nzoia Sugar last week in their bid to assert themselves against Muhoroni.
At Camp Toyoyo ground in Jericho, free-scoring Kariobangi Sharks striker Masoud Juma who leads the score chart with 15 goals will be gunning to build an unassailable lead when his team takes on Nzoia.
Kepha Aswani of Nakumatt, who alongside Gor Mahia’s Jacques Tuyisnge and Meddie Kagere are jointly second with 12 strikes each, will also be keen to drive home a point in as far as marksmanship in concerned as the super market side plays Sony Sugar away.
At Moi Stadium In Kisumu, Posta Rangers who are lying in the second position in the log have a grand chance of denying Tusker, Sofapaka and Homeboyz a sniff of the runners-up slot when they square it out with Western Stima.
For Western Stima who are facing a threat of relegation, the team has had a prolonged period of indifferent results and this is a spell they would wish to cast away.