Matano back as Leopards, Bandari to face off in KPL
After a one week of absence to pave way for the Gotv Shield Cup, an action packed Kenya Premier League (KPL) is anticipated this weekend with six matches lined up.
AFC Leopards will be ushering in their new coach Robert Matano with an away match against Bandari FC, a match set to be played at Mbaraki sports ground, Mombasa on Saturday.
Leopards who are currently position 12 on the log with 16 points have not won in their last nine league matches the recent being a 2-0 loss to Kariobangi Sharks.
Ahead of his first match, Matano who is making a comeback as Leopards head coach has called upon everyone in the club to team up in order to revive the team’s fortunes.
“Everybody at the club has a responsibility to lift the club, it is not only the coach and so I am calling on everybody those in the office and those outside the team to come and help the team,” said Matano.
It will be an uphill task for Leopards as they face the dockers who boast an excellent home record as they have only lost one game this season which came against league leaders Gor Mahia back in April.
However Leopards boasts a better head to head record having lost once in their last six meetings in KPL.
On the other hand, Paul Nkata’s Bandari will be brimming with confidence as they enter the match fresh from inflicting a 1-0 defeat to champions Tusker.
Struggling Thika United who have gone 11 matches without a win will be hosting the 2009 Champions Sofapaka FC at Thika Sub County Stadium from 3pm.
Thika united coach Nicholas Muyoti is hopeful his team will build on their last barren draw against Nzoia Sugar.
“We want to build on our last game where we did not concede,” Muyoti said in an exclusive interview with Citizen Digital ahead of Sofapaka match.
On the other hand, Sofapaka will be trying to make amends after losing their last match 2-1 against Nakumatt.
In another match, Karionbangi Sharks will host Kakamega Homeboyz as from 3:00pm pm at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.
A thrilling encounter is expected as Mathare United are set to host Sony Sugar also on Saturday at the Ruaraka Stadium as from 4:15pm with the ‘slum boys’ looking to move out of the relegation zone where they are currently stuck with 11 points in 15 matches.
The ‘Slum Boys’ are a shadow of the side that won the league in 2010 as they have only won two league matches in the 15 matches played so far. Sony are not good either as they have also won only one away match in the past 15 rounds.
Ruaraka stadium, Nairobi will host an early kick off match between Ulinzi Stars and Nakumatt scheduled to start from 2:00pm with the sides meeting for the first time in a league clash.
The army men will enter the match hoping to win after they were dumped out of GOtv Shield Cup last weekend with their last league match against Gor highlighted by a series of crowd trouble but nevertheless they managed to secure a 2-2 draw and are currently 3rd on the log with 24 points.
Nakumatt on the other hand will be looking forward to build on their 2-1 win against Sofapaka as well as an outstanding home record where they have not lost in their last six matches at home.
The match will also see KPL top scorers play against each other with Ulinzi’s Stephen Waruru and Nakumatt’s Kepha Aswani facing off.
On Sunday, Zoo Kericho will host Chemelil FC at Kericho Green Stadium from 3:00pm with the two sides also meeting for the first time in a league clash.
Zoo will be the ones in need of three points more as they are only four points above the relegation zone while their opponents sit on position 10 with 21 points, but with a poor away record where they have not won in their last 6 away matches, it will be an uphill task.
Muhoroni Youth will not be in action this weekend since their match with Gor Mahia has been postponed due to Gor’s involvement in a friendly match against Everton on Thursday in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Nakumatt vs Ulinzi Stars ( Ruaraka Stadium, Nairobi)
Bandari FC vs AFC Leopards (Mbaraki Stadium)
Kariobangi Sharks vs Kakamega Homeboyz (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos)
Thika United vs Sofapaka FC (Thika Sub County Stadium)
Mathare United vs Sony Sugar (Ruaraka Stadium) 4.15pm
Zoo Kericho vs Chemelil (Kericho Green Stadium)
Report by Gilbert Kiprotich.
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