Gor out to dampen Tusker FC spirits in KPL
Gor Mahia skipper Musa Mohammed has warned Tusker FC to expect a tough encounter when the two Kenyan Premier League (KPL) titans sides clash on Saturday.
While Gor, who were deposed as KPL champions last season by Tusker, have had a steady start to their season, their opponents are yet to find their feet and sit just one place above the relegation zone.
Musa emphasised the record titleholders who went last season without a single trophy are targeting a clean sweep of all the available honours and will settle for only a win against Tusker.
“It’s going to be a very difficult match, they are a strong team that is not in a good position currently to reflect their status as champions, but we are preparing well to make sure we get maximum points” he told Citizen Digital.
K’ogalo are top of the KPL log after five games and the skipper says it’s down to a good pre-season they had under Head Coach Jose Marcelo ‘Ze Maria’ Ferreira.
He exuded confidence the Brazilian tactician will guide them to a record 16th title in his first full season at K’Ogalo.
“He has the experience to deliver all the titles that we need this season we have targets set for and game by game we are working towards achieving them.
“The squad has enough experience and good competition in every position to deliver a treble and Iam sure we can achieve that,” he added
Tusker have managed only one win in five outings this term with the side that showed little defensive frailties now having conceded a league-high 10 goals.
Nine matches spread over the weekend from Friday to Sunday are on cards, with Zoo Kericho’s hunt for at least a goal in the topflight facing a tough test when they play Nzoia United.
Bandari, Sofapaka and AFC Leopards (10) have an opportunity to leap to the top of the log, with wins in their encounters if leaders Gor falters.
Ze Maria Ferreira is breathing fire ahead of their Tusker clash, as round six of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) gets underway this weekend.
It is will be their first meeting in the top tier this season after Tusker denied the 15-time champions unprecedented four-straight titles in 2016, and Ferreira has made it clear he wants back ‘their title.’
Speaking at Camp Toyoyo when he was feted by the Sports Journalists of Kenya (SJAK) coach of the month award (for March) on Wednesday, Ferreira underscored his players are aware of points they must get at every stage of the league to clinch the title.
“We have played five matches and lost one, winning the rest. We are within our calculations for the season and they (players) know our target.
“We are ready for the next challenge, they may not have started very well but they are the champions,” told the Brazilian tactician.
The Brewers have equally expressed their respect for the Gor, currently leading the league with 12 points from five matches.
Coach George Nsimbe has however stressed the poor start that has left his side just three places above relegation will not factor in the match.
“We are going to play table leaders and you know we have to handle them as such. The good thing now is that the players are positive and everybody is training knowing we are going to play a strong team,” Nsimbe told the club’s official portal.
Captain James Situma, who missed the club’s last outing against Ulinzi Stars where they were held to a 1-1 draw, is expected back in the groove.
-Posta Rangers calm-
Posta Rangers, so far unbeaten, has a date with newly promoted Kariobangi Sharks who have risen from a poor start and won two straight matches.
Head coach Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omolo is calm ahead of the match, saying his charges will not rest on their laurels.
“They (Sharks) have started badly but they have won their last two games. They are improving game by game, so we will have to play simple football-attack and score many goals as we can.
“We will have to make sure we don’t concede easily. Our aim is to get three points,” Omolo charged.
The former Kenyan international has said his players are not excited about their unbeaten run, noting it is still early to label them title contenders.
“Am sure of a good season and to us a successful season will be to improve from where we left last season.
“We can’t say we are going to win the title after five games, but we want to finish the first half of the season at the position that we are in at the moment,” he offered.
His opposite number William Muluya has is concerned with the output of his attackers, which he observes must be fixed if he is to win against Posta.
“The areas to work on are the final touches. If we can do more scoring then we will be better placed since the moment you start winning shows that more positive aspects are coming on.
“We need to continue with the good work we have been doing so that we can improve the momentum, which I believe we can achieve in the upcoming fixture,” stated Muluya.
Posta is second on the log just point behind Gor with 11, conceding only one goal.
Thika United will be hosting Leopards in another exciting fixture in Thika Sub-county Stadium, as impressive Ulinzi Stars host Mathare United in Afraha, Nkauru.
The slum boys will be without banned coach Francis Kimanzi on the touchline, for his stubbornness against referee’s order to leave the technical area in a match against Sofapaka in November 2016.
At the Chemelil Sports Complex, hosts Chemelil Sugar will lock horns with Bandari FC, Muhoroni welcome Sony Sugar in Muhoroni Stadium as Nakumatt FC face Western Stima in Machakos.
A Sofapaka versus Kakamega Homeboyz clash in Jericho’s Camp Toyoyo will cap the KPL action, which remains ‘in the dark’ with no option found for official broadcaster SuperSport who terminated their contract with the league managing body a fortnight ago.
Chemelil Sugar vs Bandari FC
Gor Mahia vs Tusker FC
Nakumatt FC Vs Western Stima
Muhoroni Youth FC vs Zoo Kericho FC
Sofapaka FC vs Kakamega Homeboyz
Posta Rangers vs Kariobangi Sharks
Ulinzi Stars vs Mathare United
Thika United vs AFC Leopards
-Report by Jacob Icia and John Kyanda.
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