Tusker will be seeking to avenge last season's exit in the Top 8 tournament to Gor Mahia at the semi-final stage when the two sides face off at Nyayo Stadium
Nasio, Emuge, Anguyo, Mosoti
Njuguna, Omondi, Salim
Odhiambo, Sserenkuma, Lavasta
Kiiza, Ochieng, Odhiambo, Shikokoti
Ochieng, Tololwa, Okoth
Were, Dunga, Olunga
Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Top 8 champions Gor Mahia put their title ambitions on the line when they take on Tusker in the first semi-final of the knock out competition at Nyayo Stadium on Wednesday night.
Gor have a slight edge over the league champions by virtue of the fact that they beat them during the DSTV/Super Cup season opener three months ago on penalties. Tusker played 85 minutes of the match with ten men after custodian Boniface Oluoch was red carded.
Last year, Gor Mahia inflicted an aggregate 4-0 defeat on Tusker in the semis of the same competition, winning the first leg at Kasarani 1-0 before finishing off the job with a 3-0 thrashing at City Stadium.
Furthermore, Gor go into this fixture on the back of a 2-0 win over Muhoroni Youth last weekend giving them a winning momentum they would not want to break.
Gor coach Zradvko Logarusic is also glad that Edwin Lavatsa, one of his attacking options upfront, has finally recovered and featured in last Saturday’s triumph at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru.
Logarusic, however, faces a delicate balancing act in picking his squad considering that he has a derby coming up against arch-rivals AFC Leopards on Sunday and therefore, must have his best players’ fresh.
Gor’s options for goals are still with Kevin ‘Ade’ Omondi, Rama Salim and Dan Sserunkuma.
Tusker coach Robert Matano will be praying that his strikers are at their best just like they did when the team edged out Mathare United 3-1 in the quarters of the same competition.
“Last year we lost in the semi-finals to the same team and it was very painful to us. This year we want to put all that behind and show our opponents that the win they had last year was not a show of total dominance," the brewers' assistant coach George Maina told Goal.com.
However, of late the striking partnership of Ismael Dunga and Jesse Were has not produced goals in 180 minutes something that will be of concern to Matano ahead of such a crucial match.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Gor Mahia are the second club to win the KPL Top 8 trophy (pictured) since its inception three years ago.
- Gor Mahia’s first round victory against Ulinzi was contested by the soldiers who however, lost the appeal.
- Gor beat Tusker 4-0 aggregate in last year’s semi-final match of the same competition.
- Tusker have never won the KPL Top 8 tournament since its inception though in that period they have claimed two premiership titles.
- Tusker defender Joseph Shikokoti featured in last year’s semi-final match against Gor Mahia.
- Tusker coach Robert Matano was not at the club when they lost to Gor Mahia in last year’s semi-final.
- Gor have a slight edge over the league champions by virtue of the fact that they beat them during the DStv/Super Cup season opener three months ago.
- Tusker edged out Mathare United in the quarters of the competition while Gor Mahia eliminated Ulinzi Stars.
- Gor Mahia will have back fit again striker Edwin Lavasta for selection. Lavasta featured against Muhoroni on Saturday at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.