Ulinzi Stars – Tusker preview.
Nakuru based side Ulinzi Stars plays host to Tusker in a rescheduled week 23 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) fixture on Thursday 25 September, a fixture that was postponed to allow the Kenya Defence Forces side to take part in the East African Military Games in Zanzibar.
Going into the game, the home side will strike much as the on – form of the two after a 2 – 0 win over relegation threatened Top Fry AllStars in the Sunday 21 September clash at the Afraha Stadium. It was their second win in their previous five matches after earlier beating another newly promoted side, KRA 3 – 2 and drawing with Gor Mahia and Muhoroni Youth then losing 0 – 1 to KCB.
Ulinzi Stars hold the league record this season for the most draws, having shared spoils 14 times and won seven times. They are also the side that has jointly lost the least number of matches – just three, along with Gor Mahia after 24 matches. Head to head with their day’s opponents, it is somewhat a balanced affair in the last eleven matches played.
Ulinzi Stars have won four times while Tusker has managed three wins over the Nakuru side then four matches have ended in draws. Of Ulinzi Stars’ wins, three have been at home while one was in Nairobi then all the four drawn matches have been registered with Ulinzi Stars playing away from home. Ulinzi Stars head to the game with just one fresh injury concern, that of defender Cylus Shitote who suffered a thigh strain in the game against Top Fry AllStars. He will join another defender, Brian Birgen who has been out for a month now and his place in defence is taken up by the much experienced James Mulinge. As for Tusker, key defender Jockins Atudo is out on compassionate leave after his father’s death earlier in the week. Save for the defender, coach Francis Kimanzi will have all his other players available as he tries to get back to winning ways having drawn their last four matches.
The Brewers have no injuries reported heading to the game and the only change that is effected in the team sees defender Dennis Nganga return but on the bench as Martin Kiiza is slotted in defence to partner Lloyd Wahome in Atudo’s absence. Tusker, with 42 points, are third on the table and they will remain rooted there no matter the result of the game, given second placed Sofapaka are on 46 points and fourth placed Chemelil Sugar have already played their 25th match. The same applies for the hosts; they will stay fifth no matter the result. They are on 35 points while fourth placed Chemelil Sugar is on 41 points.
Teams 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, 10. Kevin Amwayi
Subs: 21. Francis Ochieng’ (GK), 19. Mbongi Omar, 5. Elvis Nandwa, 12. Benson Sande, 18. Bonface Onyango, 11. Justine Onwonga Kerongo, 17 Job Muhati.
Tusker: Samuel Odhiambo (GK) Athman Buki, Aboud Omar, Lloyd Wahome, 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.
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