Malawi- Kenya Preview: Flames host Harambee Stars in Blantyre
After being held` at home by Namibia, Malawi have a chance to put pressure on Group F leaders Nigeria when they confront bottom-placed Kenya
By Otieno Otieno
Kaipa, Nyirenda, Mzava, Chavula
Chirambo, Kondowe, Kamwendo
Nga'mbi, Mhango, Ngalande
Owino, Mandela, Ochieng', Mulinge
Mohammed, Were, Opiyo, Kahata
After being held at home to a barren draw by Namibia last week, Malawi will be seeking for a convincing win over Kenya on Wednesday as they fight to revive their 2014 World Cup dreams.
The Flames cannot make a mistake this time around well aware that they gave away a perfect opportunity to go top level with African champions Nigeria, who edged out Kenya 1-0 in Nairobi last Wednesday.
The Flames are therefore, expected to go all out in search of victory and will be hoping that Nigeria falters away to Namibia so that the gap between the top two teams in Group 'F' is narrowed.
It is a situation that would take the qualification battle to the wire and one that Malawi will be happy with.
For goals, the home side will call upon Gabadin Mhango, who scored the lone goal that sunk Namibia when the two sides met in a March 23 World Cup qualifier away.
The Kenyan side will be playing for nothing but pride considering that their chances of winning the Group are almost nil.
Moreover, the Kenyan side has greatly bean weakened due to the absence of key players, the likes of newly-installed captain Victor Wanyama, striker Dennis Oliech, Kepha Aswani, Johanna Omollo and Steven Waruru, who did not travel for various reasons.
Wanyama and Aswani picked up injuries in the match against Nigeria while Waruru, who gave away possession that eventually resulted to Ahmed Musa’s winning goal for Nigeria, was - according to the team’s technical bench - left behind for ‘tactical reasons’.
Omollo is meanwhile suspended whereas Oliech was not considered following reported indiscipline issues that resulted in a well-publicized bust-up with Amrouche.
On the positive side however, Kenyan coach Amrouche has an opportunity to make use of new players as he seeks to rebuild a squad for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals. This means he should give an opportunity to the likes of Gor Mahia Edwin Lavatsa and AFC Leopards’ winger Paul Were to start.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Malawi are yet to lose so far in the four World Cup qualifier matches they have featured in.
Compared to Kenya, Malawi have scored two goals in the campaign so far. Stars have found the back of the net only once.
Malawi have never qualified for the Fifa World Cup despite taking part in most qualification matches.
Kenya will be playing without a substantive captain after new skipper Victor Wanyama pulled out due to an injury.
Apart from missing their captain, Kenya will also be without two other key players Dennis Oliech (pictured), who pulled out of this match and Arnold Origi, who is injured.
Kenya were held to a barren draw by Malawi in the first leg of this qualifier played in Nairobi last September.
The Flames have six points – two behind Group leaders Nigeria – with two games each before they complete the qualifiers while Kenya sit bottom of Group F, six points behind leaders Nigeria.
|Sign up today with Ladbrokes and get a $20 welcome bonus!|
Top 3 Predictions
Malawi 0-2 Kenya
- 19.4 %
Malawi 1-2 Kenya
- 13.43 %
Malawi 0-1 Kenya
- 11.94 %
|World Cup Qualification 2014 (Africa) (WCQA)||Jun 12, 2013||Malawi 2 - Kenya 2|
|World Cup Qualification 2014 (Africa) (WCQA)||Jun 2, 2012||Kenya 0 - Malawi 0|
|Sep 7, 2013||Nigeria 2 - Malawi 0||WCQA|
|Jul 16, 2013||Malawi 2 - Angola 3||CSC|
|Jul 13, 2013||Zimbabwe 1 - Malawi 1||CSC|
|Jun 12, 2013||Malawi 2 - Kenya 2||WCQA|
|Jun 5, 2013||Malawi 0 - Namibia 0||WCQA|