Mathare United and Kariobangi Sharks are by and large considered equals in the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) and it remains to be seen who will finish their 2018 battle on a high when they battle it out in a 26th round of action in Kasarani on Sunday.
The first leg on May 6 ended 1-1 and what makes Sunday’s meeting between the two interesting is that both will be clamouring to win to exorcise the ghosts of defeats last weekend.
Mathare, 2-1 losers at the hands of AFC Leopards, were once among the favourites to win the league before things went south and for the team that is placed in the seventh position in the standings, they will require any point at their disposal to catch up with the frontrunners.
Cliff Nyakeya and Crispin Oduor have lately been a marvel to watch in Mathare’s frontline and these are some of the players coach Francis Kimanzi is expected to use in search of good results.
For eighth-placed Sharks, a win will be a boon of sorts, having lost 2-1 to Zoo Kericho in Nairobi last weekend.
Elsewhere in Ruaraka on Saturday, Bandari who bruised the ego of all-dominant force in Gor Mahia two days ago in Mombasa by breaking their unbeaten record take battle to Tusker.
Placed second in the chart, Bandari have refused to thrown in the towel in regard to the team’s prospects of dethroning Gor as the league champions with the dockers coach Bernard Mwalala sounding war-drums immediately after his charges dumped Gor at the coastal town. Speaking to Peoplesport yesterday, Mwalala made it clear that they are desirous to administer the same dose to Tusker at their own backyard.
“Against Gor, you would have noted from the onset that the players were hungry for success and their efforts ultimately paid dividends. We are going to play our usual game against Tusker and hopefully, we should be able to register maximum points,” said Mwalala.
Tusker, the 2016 SPL champions who have had more lows than high this season are expected to produce a measure of grit and especially given that they will be playing at home.
However, Tusker defence line of Eric Ambuya, Lloyd Wahome and Justine Omari will be required to be on red alert to stave off dangerous Bandari striking duo of Yemi Mwana and Dun Guya.
In Machakos on Sunday, AFC Leopards square it out with Nakumatt and Ingwe have to bear the brunt of playing without eccentric midfielder Whyvonne Isuza who is serving suspension after being sent off in the team’s encounter against Mathare last weekend.
Leopards coach Rodolfo Zapata is expected to use the bulk of the squad that beat Mathare 2-1.