Chemelil Sugar will play host to Ulinzi Stars in the first match of the 26th week of action in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) on Friday 3 October at the Chemelil Sports Complex.
The two sides met in the first match of the 2014 KPL season, playing to a 1 – 1 draw in a game that saw a Tony Nyangor goal harshly disallowed apparently for a foul on Ulinzi Stars keeper Francis Ochieng and going into the game the two teams placed fourth and fifth, still have mathematical chances of winning the title.
Chemelil Sugar is fourth on the KPL log with 41 points while Ulinzi Stars is a place lower on 38 points and both teams’ coaches Mike Mururi (Chemelil Sugar) and Robert Matano (Ulinzi Stars) have made known their aim to win the 2014 title.
Heading to the game, Ulinzi Stars is the stronger on paper. The Nakuru side has won eight of the two teams’ last eleven league encounters, three of those being in Chemelil Sugar’s backyard and three in Nakuru. The Millers, on the other hand, have won just one match, at home in 2012 and two matches have ended in draws.
Ulinzi Stars go into the game on the back of two straight wins, the last a big one – against third placed Tusker and with just one loss in their last five matches, the Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF) side is without doubt in top form.
Chemelil Sugar, on the other hand, head in to the game on the back of a 0 – 2 loss to champions Gor Mahia and will be looking to steady their ship if they are to live by coach Mike Mururi’s assurance that they are going for the title.
The Millers biggest consolation going to the game is that they have the strongest defence in the league, having conceded the least goals (12) but they will need to tighten much more to stop a side that has scored 17 goals against them in 11 matches.
The Millers have had a two week rest since their last match and will be looking to make that count against a team that played Tusker a week ago before making the long trip to Awasi and they will be buoyed by the fact that they do not have any injuries reported.
Ulinzi Stars on the other hand have Brian Birgen, Oscar Wamalwa and Cylus Shitote all out with injuries and key midfielder Kevin Amwayi has been left behind after complaining of pain in the ribs after the win over Tusker.
The highest Ulinzi Stars will rise with a win in the game is fourth place at the expense of the Millers while the Millers can rise to third place with a win in the game.
Chemelil Sugar: 22 Jairus Adira, 13 Willis Ouma, 3 Samuel Ouma,5 James Omino,9 Charles Odero, 26 Ouko Smith, Mwaniki Jonathan,4 Gerson Likonoh,12 Mutahi Daniel, 10 Mwinyi Hamisi, 24Meshack Karani
Subs: 30 Fredrick Onyango,15 Wellington Murwayi, 6 Robert Indimuli,18 Steve Wakhanya, 14 Innocent Wafula, 27Dennis Onkangi,23 David Nyanzi
Ulinzi Stars: 1. James Saruni (GK), 8.James Mulinge, 3. Oliver Rutto, 2. Geoffrey Kokoyo, 4. Mohamed Hassan, 39. John Nairuka, 6. Eric Apul, 29. Stephen Ocholla, 7. Evans Amwoka, 22. Stephen Waruru, 5. Elvis Nandwa.
Subs: 21. Francis Ochieng’ (GK), 19. Mbongi Omar, Mark Makwatta, 12. Benson Sande, 18. Bonface Onyango, 11. Justine Onwonga Kerongo, 17 Job Muhati