Kariobangi Sharks swimming in turbulent waters, Muluya hints at squad rotation

By alex wafula
Oct 10, 2017
  • William Muluya has opted to rotate his squad to avoid fatigue as he eyes winning the GOtv Shield final against AFC Leopards in two weeks. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Masoud Juma returns to Kariobangi Sharks from national duties. (SNA. File Photo)

Kariobangi Sharks will be faced with a run of three tough matches before their October 20 GOtv Shield final against AFC Leopards.

With most of his attention channeled towards lifting his first ever silverware with the Premier League newbies, coach William Muluya says he will be rotating his squad to curtail fatigue.

Three days after playing against AFC Leopards in a league fixture, Kariobangi Sharks play reigning league champions Tusker FC on Wednesday in Nairobi before hosting Chemelil Sugar on Saturday at Kasarani.

“It is very tough for us and the only way we can ensure we are injury free and not fatigued heading to the GOtv Shield final is rotating the squad. We have a big squad with us and we should give everyone a chance to play,” the tactician told Sports News Arena.

But with the Shield final a fortnight away, Muluya will be focusing on a top five aim for the Premier League and he reckons his players have done enough up to this moment to ease up the final bend pressure.

Muluya is pleased with the performance of his players, but notes they need to dig in for a final push to get into the top five.

Kariobangi Sharks are sixth on the standings with 40 points, and a win over fifth-placed Tusker will hoist them to fourth. The first leg between the two sides ended in a barren draw.

“Tusker is always a tough team and looking at how we played in the first leg, it will not be easy,” the tactician added.

International duty

He will be welcoming back midfielder Patillah Omotto and striker Massoud Juma both who missed the weekend draw with AFC Leopards as they were away on international duty.

Tusker FC are keen to spice their lukewarm season. Besides being ousted from the GOtv Shield in the quarters, the alemen have had mixed luck in the league.

Mathematically, they are still well within pace to win the title. If they lose against Kariobangi Sharks and Gor wins their weekend tie away to Mathare United, then those slim hopes will fade away like the morning dew.

Coach George Nsimbe on his maiden season as Tusker boss insists they will give their all to finish the season strongly. He has maintained a brave face that they have not underperformed this season.

Meanwhile, Western Stima will be taking their charge to avoid relegation a step further when they host Nakumatt at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu.

The powermen walk into the fixture off a vital 2-1 win over Bandari, a result that saw them move three points within safety.

Western Stima, under new coach Richard Makumbi have vowed to remain in top flight after a tough season that has seen them remain rooted at the red zone.

High morale

Goalkeeper Samuel Odhiambo who joined Western Stima at the beginning of the season from Chemelil Sugar says the morale among the players is high and he is sure they will not be relegated.

“We have found some good momentum now and everyone is eager to continue with the winning spirit. Everyone is upbeat that we will manage to survive. It is not easy but we will work hard to see that we achieve the target,” Odhiambo noted.

Nakumatt lost to Muhoroni Youth over the weekend and are four points above the drop zone. Western Stima can move off the red zone for the first time this season with a win if Zoo Kericho lose to Nzoia Sugar.

The two sides drew 1-1 in the first leg in Bungoma, but Zoo Kericho come into the tie beaming with confidence after beating Kakamega Homeboyz 1-0 over the weekend.

KPL midweek fixtures (kick off 3 p.m.)

Tusker FC v Kariobangi Sharks (Ruaraka), Western Stima v Nakumatt (Moi Stadium, Kisumu), Zoo Kericho v Nzoia Sugar (Kericho Green Stadium).