The 2008 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Mathare United will play host to title contenders Tusker in the first match of a double header at the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday 4 October scheduled to start at 1400hrs.
The two teams share a long history as far as coaching and playing unit personnel are concerned but on paper, the Slum Boys head to the game as the stronger having managed two wins and a draw in their last five matches while the Brewers have not won a single match in six attempts.
As the Brewers go into the game trying to put their title ambitions back on track, the home team will be trying to strengthen their quest for a top half finish and it all looks like a balanced affair as the two sides have managed three wins apiece in their last 11 league meetings with five matches ending in draws and a total of 16 goals netted – seven for Mathare United and nine for Tusker.
Tusker FC will miss the services of key defender Lloyd Wahome in the game. He is suspended after picking a fifth yellow card in the game against Ulinzi Stars the last time out.
On the flip side, the ban couldn’t have come at a better time for the defender as he had a torrid time in the GOtv Shield match against AFC Leopards, giving away a penalty, scoring an own goal and playing a role in Leopards’ third goal as Tusker fell from a 2 – 0 lead to lose 2 – 3.
Jockins Atudo, who has missed the last two matches is expected to return from compassionate leave to feature as Wahome’s replacement.
Mathare United have no injuries reported or suspensions so head coach Stanley Okumbi, who for years served as Tusker head coach Francis Kimanzi’s understudy, has a full squad to pick from and he will be buoyed by the advantage that his team has had a two- week rest.
The Slum Boys are in a much better shape and will be aiming to hit back at the Brewers after losing 0 – 3 in the first leg meeting.
A win for Tusker in the game will only ensure they close the gap on second placed Sofapaka to within a point but they will not move higher than the third place while for Mathare United, a win will see them rise a place higher to sixth place at the expense of Thika United who do not play until Sunday.
Mathare United: Robert Mboya (GK), Noah Abich, Mwangi David, Robinson Kamura, Edgar Ochieng, Okello Vincent (c), Njuguna Joseph, Johanna Eric, Dan Mwaura, Harrison Mwendwa, Tittieh Olesu.
Subs: Odhiambo Peter (GK), Ojwang David, Omogi Kevin, Edwin Ombasa, Whyvonne Isuza, Odongo Vincent, Mmata Eric.
Tusker: Samuel Odhiambo (GK) Athman Buki, Aboud Omar, Jockins Atudo, Martin Kiiza, Osborne Monday, Brian Osumba, Khalid Aucho, Clifford Alwanga, Ismael Dunga, Kevin Kimani.
Subs: Farouk Shikhalo (GK), Luke Ochieng, Andrew Tololwa, Robert Omunuk, Jesse Were, Dennis Nganga, Dennis Nzomo.