Kenya- Libya Preview: Harambee Stars ready for Libya battle in friendly contest
Parma midfielder Macdonald Mariga and Belgium-based Ayub Timbe all pulled out of the friendly but coach Nandwa insists he has able replacements
By Otieno Otieno
African teams that missed out on the on-going Africa Cup of Nations finals in South Africa will make up for it by featuring in Wednesday’s international friendly matches.
Harambee Stars are scheduled to take on Libya in Tunisia desperately in need of victory to improve on their Fifa rankings.
Despite missing key players for the match, Kenya's stand-in coach James Nandwa is confident he can get positive results in the match which he intends to use as a build up to next month’s World Cup qualifier against Nigeria away.
Parma midfielder Macdonald Mariga and Belgium-based Ayub Timbe all pulled out of the friendly but Nandwa insists he has able replacement for the match.
“The two are key players no doubt and we will miss them but we have able replacement to ensure the team still does well in the match,” Nandwa told Goal.com from Tunis.
Despite adverse weather conditions in North Africa, the Kenyan coach said they are coping well and remain confident it will not affect their performance.
“It is a bit cold in Tunis but we are coping well after being here for the last four days." The team was boosted by the arrival of Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama and David Gateri from South Africa.
Kenya number one goalkeeper Arnold Origi is expected to start in goal with the defense revolving around Jockins Atudo, Abdalla Juma and David Ochieng.
Team captain Dennis Oliech will lead the attack boasted by his recent move to Ligue one side AC Ajaccio. In the absence of Mariga and Timbe, the Kenyan coach has drafted into the team Charles Okwemba who is expected to start in the midfield together with Kevin Omondi and Humphrey Mieno.
The match kick-off at 5pm local time and it will be the third Fifa International friendly week for Stars since last October with a 2-1 home loss to South Africa and a 1-0 reverse to Tanzania under French coach Henri Michel hastening his exit.
On the other hand, the Magreb nation is coming to the match having seen their attempts to lure former France international Alain Giresse, to coach the side rebuffed by the man who has now taken over Senegal to lead them to a 1-1 draw against Guinea on Tuesday.
Acting coach Abdulhafeed Arbich subsequently called up 16 players to a training camp to be held in Tunisia from January 25 in readiness for the match.
The match was moved to Tunisia owing to the security situation in Libya after strongman Muamar Gadaffi was toppled in a revolution.
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Top 3 Predictions
Kenya 0-3 Libya
- 14.71 %
Kenya 3-0 Libya
- 11.77 %
Kenya 3-1 Libya
- 11.77 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||Feb 6, 2013||Kenya 3 - Libya 0|
|Dec 7, 2013||Kenya 1 - Rwanda 0||CSCC|
|Dec 3, 2013||Kenya 2 - Zanzibar 0||CSCC|
|Nov 30, 2013||South Sudan 1 - Kenya 3||CSCC|
|Nov 27, 2013||Kenya 0 - Ethiopia 0||CSCC|
|Sep 8, 2013||Kenya 1 - Namibia 0||WCQA|