Mathare United journey-man George ‘Wise’ Owino hopes to celebrate his 100th match in grand style when the slumboys’ take on Sofapaka in a SportPesa Premier (SPL) top-of bill encounter atKenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Sunday.
Owino, 37, who has been a stalwartat Mathare defence since joining the team in 2015, will be commemorating thejubilee against his former team which he ditched in 2015.
The indefatigable defender, who donsjersey number six, has had previous stints with Tanzanian giants Young Africans(Yanga) and Simba and is thus the most experienced player in the current Mathare squad.
Wazito and Vihiga United are both walking on eggshells in the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) and Sunday’s meeting between the two sides at Camp Toyoyo in Jericho might as well give a pointer as to who is determined to evade relegation.
Incidentally, Wazito and Vihiga are smarting from 2-0 defeats at the hands of Sofapaka and Tusker respectively in their latest fixtures and will be leaving nothing to fashion improved results in their quest to survive in the league.
With Wazito having lost their lead strikers Pistone Mutamba and Joe Waithera during the June transfer window, the team’s coach Frank Ouna may opt to try out new signings in offensive midfielders Anthony Njeru and former national team under-20 member Eric Ochieng’.
In the meantime, Vihiga United who are also in a precarious position in the league standing welcome back experienced player Charles Okwemba who was away doing duty for the Sheria Sacco football team in the just concluded Ushirika Championships.
Okwemba, who has just recovered from an injury, has lately given his markers plenty to think about and is expected to partner equally lethal Chris Masinza to bang in goals for Vihiga.
In the meantime, the early kick off between Sofapaka and Mathare at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Sunday is probably the one that is expected to illuminate the weekend that is marked by eight matches.
Although not the fiercest of rivals on the league front to warrant hyping up their meeting, Mathare and Sofapaka will be angling for maximum points to be within touching distance of table-topping Gor Mahia who are in Tanzania for the Cecafa/Kagame Cup.
Elsewhere at Sudi Stadium in Bungoma, Nzoia Sugar begin life without coach Bernard Mwalala, as they take battle to Posta Rangers.
One would expect Nzoia to be mulling over their future over Mwalala’s exit, but not the team’s chairman David Egesa who declared that they are still strong and would wish to prove it in the match against Rangers where Vincent Sifuma will be in the dug-out as caretaker coach. This is an intriguing clash of sorts and Sifuma will want to summon stand-out players with lots of experience and scintillating form to boot, among them national team trialist Elvis Rupia and Edgar Nzano.
In Ruaraka on Saturday, Nakumatt will be out to stretch their giant-killing antics when they face hosts Tusker.
Despite odds being stacked heavily against them, Nakumatt have players who are capable of turning a difficult game on its head, among them free-scoring Boniface Mukhekhe, Cornelius Juma and Tom Adwar.
On the other hand, Tusker coach Robert Matano has no injury concerns going into the fixture and he is likely to deploy Timothy Otieno to lead errands in attack.