Baraza wants response against Ulinzi as KPL enters round 22
- Sofapaka head coach John Baraza hopes his charges will rise above their last weekend’s 2-1 loss to AFC Leopards when they face Ulinzi Stars on Saturday.
- Baraza has seen tremendous improvement in the team, especially in the second half of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) but the slow-down by Ingwe deflated their morale.
- A win for Sofapaka will take them to 33 points from 22 outings, and could see them leap a place on the log from eighth
Sofapaka head coach John Baraza hopes his charges will rise above their last weekend’s 2-1 loss to AFC Leopards when they face Ulinzi Stars on Saturday; a side he says is tricky and difficult to handle.
Baraza has seen tremendous improvement in the team, especially in the second half of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) but the slow-down by Ingwe deflated their morale that had been boosted by recent convincing wins, including against champions Gor Mahia.
Being fifth on the KPL log, the former Harambee Stars striker insists Ulinzi are in good form despite their winless streak.
“It is not going to be an easy duel. We know Ulinzi are a good side and they are currently in a good form. I however feel the boys have prepared well since resuming training on Tuesday and they are ready,” Baraza told.
The soft spoken tactician underlined his side is going for maximum points in the match, after failing collect anything against Leopards.
“When you lose, you have to quickly move on and prepare for the next match. That is why this is a league, played thought the season. We are going to try our best, our single aim is to bag three points,” he offered.
Against Leopards, Baraza revealed his sensational January signing Promise Chinonso was not fit hence his unusual low output.
“Chinonso was still recovering but he adamantly showed desire to play. You could see he was not at his best but he should be in our next match.”
Another concern is the fitness of Elly Asieche, whose injury towards the break against Ingwe in Mumias cost the 2009 KPL champions a great in the match, according to Baraza.
“Elly is a very important player to us. A big difference was evident after his exit. The sooner he recovers the batter for us,” answered the multiple KPL Golden Boot winner, casting doubt about his availability for Ulinzi.
Ulinzi on their end warmed up for the clash with a 4-0 win over Spitfire FC at the Moi Air Base, courtesy of goals from Masita Masuta, Bernard Ongoma and Clinton Omondi.
A win for Sofapaka will take them to 33 points from 22 outings, and could see them leap a place on the log from eighth depending on Western Stima results. Stima are currently seventh with 33.
On the other hand, Ulinzi’s win will mean leaping to fourth, a point above currently fourth placed KCB if the latter fails to record at least draw in their match against Bandari this weekend.
KPL Round 22 Fixtures (All matches kickoff at 3pm unless stated)
Sofapaka FC vs Ulinzi Stars FC- 2pm
Chemelil Sugar FC vs AFC Leopards
Kisumu All Stars vs Tusker FC
Gor Mahia FC vs Western Stima- 4:15pm
Wazito vs Zoo FC- 1PM
Posta Rangers FC vs Mathare United FC- 2pm
Kakamega Homeboyz FC vs Nzoia Sugar FC
KCB vs Bandari FC
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