These two sides are in the race for the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title and Sunday's match might determine who will be crowned winners at the end of the season.
Gor Mahia are playing at home and will be doing absolutely everything to win the game and increase their chances of winning the title for the third straight time.
The hosts will start as favourites in the fixture as they are yet to lose a match at Moi Stadium in Kisumu, the venue for the battle, and only dropped points in a 0-0 draw against Western Stima two weeks ago.
|Game||Gor Mahia FC vs Sofapaka|
|Date||Sunday, May 12|
|Time||4.15pm Kenyan Time|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In Kenya, the game will be shown live on KTN Burudani.
|DSTV channel||Free-to-air channel|
Squads & Team News
|Strikers||Jacques Tuyisenge, Dennis Oliech|
|Keeper/Defenders||Boniface Oluoch, Shafik Batambuze, Charles Momanyi|
The defending champions might miss up to five players who are nursing various injuries. First choice keeper Boniface Oluoch remains doubtful owing to a niggling shoulder injury, same as Tuyisenge, who missed the 2-0 win against Chemelil Sugar because of an ankle injury.
Ugandan left-back Shafik Batambuze and Charles Momanyi will miss out with ankle problems, while striker Dennis Oliech is expected to be out for the rest of the season after dislocating his wrist in the left arm.
Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay, however, says that he will not treat the Sofapaka contest as a title decider.
“I don’t think the game will decide who wins the title. That is a match just like any other in the Kenyan league and that is what we are preparing to play,” Oktay told Goal in an exclusive interview.
“It is like playing against Western Stima, Bandari or even Tusker, it is that simple. There is nothing much to talk about the match. It is a fixture in the calendar of the KPL and we will treat it that way.”
Probable XI for Gor Mahia: Odhiambo, Otieno, Ochieng, Onyango, Shakava, Sempala, Kahata, Muguna, Omondi, Kipkirui and Onyango.
|Strikers||Kepha Aswani, Brian Magonya, Umaru Kasumba|
Sofapaka will have to do without the services of their top scorer Umaru Kasumba, who is out injured. The Ugandan sustained an ankle injury during the 2-2 draw against Tusker a week ago.
Magonya will also be out for at least two weeks after sustaining a knee injury, and with Aswani suspended, Stephen Waruru might be drafted into the starting team.
Batoto ba Mungu coach John Baraza still believes that they can reclaim the title from Gor Mahia this season if they get a win away in Kisumu.
“This is going to be a tough match for both teams especially considering that they have had a good run in the league. We are prepared well and we know Gor Mahia is not going to give us an easy run but we know that we can fight and eventually get a win,” Baraza told Goal.
“The team knows that anything in football is achievable and I have also been taking them back in time to when I was still a player telling them that they can achieve what we did then or even more."
Probable XI for Sofapaka: Ndikumana, Kilume, Jacobs, Maelo, Oduor, Omar, Asieche, Achesa, Odhiambo, Avire and Waruru.
Only seven points separate the two sides on the KPL table - Gor Mahia are leading the race with 63 points with Batoto ba Mungu on 56. A win for Gor Mahia will virtually end Sofapaka's chances of winning the league.
Batoto ba Mungu's last win against K’Ogalo was in 2017, when goals from Ezekiel Okare and Timothy Luda gave the 2009 league champions maximum points.
Since then, the best Sofapaka have done in the last four meetings is to claim one draw and lose the other three games. In the last 21 games between these two, K’Ogalo has won ten, drawn eight and lost just three matches, scoring a staggering 24 goals and conceding 14..
This season, both teams have lost just three times, but the main difference between them are the amount of victories to their respective names.
Gor Mahia have bagged maximum points on 19 occasions, four more than the second-placed challengers, who have also drawn 11 games as compared to their rivals, who have shared the spoils six times.
In the reverse fixture, Gor Mahia needed a goal by Samuel Onyango to defeat Sofapaka, but who will carry the day on Sunday?