Gor Mahia seeks to topple AFC Leopards' at the summit of the Kenya league as the two giants lock horns in a derby at Moi Kasarani on Saturday
Muchiri, Rajab, Nahimana, Masika
Imbalambala, Were, Mang’oli, Okwemba
Nasio, Owino, Anguyo, Mosoti
Akumu, Ali, Njuguna, Odhiambo
Ssrenkuma, Rama Salim
After the preparations, the countdown and the rise of adrenaline, the hour of reckoning now beckons for AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia as the two sides clash in Kenya derby at Kasarani.
All is set and both giants are ready for the crunch tie. The stakes are high and neither side can afford to lose, but at the end of the 90 minutes there will be only one winner unless they choose to share the spoils. Three points are at stake and so are the bragging rights!
Gor Mahia who have been riding high in the league, go into this match the outright favourites having gone 13 games unbeaten in the league and 18 games in all competitions.
However, this record will count for nothing when the two illustrious clubs face each other. Leopards have since seen their lead at the top of the log provisional taken by defending champions Tusker FC able.
Though level on 45 points the brewers have superior goal difference and as such Ingwe are under immense pressure.
Gor on their part are very much close and are third with 43 points. A win for K’ogalo will see them assume the pole position for the first time since the season began. Should the ‘big cats’ prevail, they will stretch their lead to 48 points, three more than Tusker and five more than their famed in-laws.
Both ides are coached by foreigners with Ingwe under the tutelage of the 71 year old Dutch coach Jan Koops. Gor under Croat Zdrvklo Logarusic has metamorphosed to be a major force in local soccer scene hence in the process becoming genuine title contenders after a slow start of the season.
Logarusic is unlikely to make major changes in his starting eleven while Koops could be forced to change his first choice keeper. His preferred shot stopper Patrick Matasi has gaffed in recent matches and was benched in the 2-1 defeat to Western Stima.
Barnabas Tiema, formerly the first choice did not fare any better in the Stima match and as such Koops is sweating over the safest pair of hands to entrust in this crucial match
With the return of Eric ‘PPO’ Masika, Koops will be relying on the nonsense leadership of the defender to marshal his backline.
Veteran midfielder Charles Okwemba and Bernard Mangoli are expected to lead in holding the midfield. The speedy winger Paul Were is expected to feed strikers Allan Wanga and Mike Barasa with good balls.
On the K’ogalos side, team skipper and first choice goal keeper Fredrick Jerim Onyango is a sure bet to retain the gloves.
Ivan Anguyo and Donald Mosoti are once again set to form that unshakable partnership in central defense. Midfield youngster Anthony ‘Teddy’ Akumu who has emerged as the enforcer in chief will be relied upon to over cover for defense awhile Moses ‘Luckydube’ enjoys a free role.
In attack Logarusic is certain to opt for the tried and tested partnership of the pint sized Ugandan import Dan Sserenkuma and the mercurial Rama Salim Mbugus who creativity and knack for goals is rivaled to none.
Wycliffe Barasa (AFC Leopards)
Victor Ochieng (AFC Leopards)
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Did you know that AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia are the oldest clubs in Kenyan soccer history? AFC popularly known as Ingwe was the first to be duly registered in 1964 as Abaluhya FC before Gor followed suit in 1968.
The two are the most successful cubs in Kenya soccer history? They have both won the domestic league title a record 12 times.
That Eric Masika is the only player of the current season that has turned out for both clubs? Yes, he turned out for Gor last season before crossing over to Ingwe in January this season. He is the most expensive defender in the league with a transfer fee of Ksh 450, 000.
Current Gor Mahia hotshot Dan Sserenkuma scored twice against AFC Leopards in the first leg this season while at Nairobi City Stars?
The last time AFC lifted the league trophy was in 1998 while the last time Gor won the same title was 17 years ago.
- Gor Mahia is the only Kenyan club to have won a continental crown, when they lifted the Nelson Mandela Cup in 1987? (Mandela cup has since been renamed and is equivalent to the current Caf-African club championship).
Gor Mahia have gone unbeaten in the last 18 games, 13 of which are in the league.