Ulinzi face on-form AFC Leopards

By alex wafula
Apr 22, 2021
  • AFC Leopards have been in a good form and take on Ulinzi in the top fixture this weekend. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Francis Kimanzi, the Mathare United coach has Muhoroni Youth in his sights this weekend. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Military side Ulinzi Stars have hit an unsurprising slump with back to back losses against Posta Rangers away and Mathare United at home.

The two defeats came after a fine run of seven matches without a loss. Their next match is against AFC Leopards who are enjoying good form.

In this match, Ulinzi coach Robert Matano will be lining his charges against his former side at the Mumias Complex. Ulinzi has beaten Ingwe over the last three meetings, but the last time they met at the Mumias Complex, AFC Leopards won 2-1.

Matano is keen to avoid a third consecutive loss. “We have prepared well for this match and of course we expect a tough one from Leopards. We had a deficiency in finishing because in all matches we have created many chances but our finishing has been poor. We have addressed that and I am positive we will get a result,” Matano stated.

The side will be boosted by the return of winger Cliff Kasuti who missed the last two matches due to  illness. But, Ulinzi have a setback with lanky forward Oscar Wamalwa ruled out with an ankle injury.

At the AFC Leopards camp, the fitness of Yussuf Juma and Victor Omune remains in question after they limped off last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Ushuru and coach Ivan Minnaert says he will make a decision before the match.

Andrew Diego and Alfred Wekesa who have been out for the last one month have also resumed training but are yet to get to Minnaert’s required fitness levels.

“We expect a very tough match against Ulinzi because they are one of the strong teams in the league. Also, each team wants to play with Leopards at 100% and that will make it difficult for us. But I would want to see us continuing with our form and winning important matches against competitors such as these,” Minnaert said.

Gor Mahia v Sony Sugar

While Ulinzi Stars battles with AFC Leopards in a late kick off in Mumias, Gor Mahia will be at at the Nyayo National Stadium in an early kick off against Sony Sugar who won their first match of the season  last week by beating Chemelil 1-0 at Awendo.

They come into the fixture with boosted confidence. Jose Marcello Ferreira’s side are nine points off the pace. Striker Jacques Tuyisenge who has scored three goals in his first three matches for the defending champions is back to full fitness.

He is expected to go into the starting team after coming on as a second half substitute in the last match against Thika. Also expected back into the team is midfielder Khalid Aucho.

Sony has never beaten Gor since 2011 with K’Ogalo having won seven out of their last nine meetings.

The top two sides will be in action on Sunday, both playing at home at the Nyayo Stadium in a double header. Leaders Mathare United will play Muhoroni Youth a side that has been difficult to predict this season.

Francis Kimanzi has led the Slum Boys to a wonderful start to the season, picking six wins in the nine opening matches for their best ever start in top flight football. A win against Muhoroni who are placed seventh on the standings will be a huge boost.

In the early kick off, second-placed Tusker face Posta Rangers, a side that has also posted mixed results this season. But on a good day, Zedekiah Otieno’s charges can extinguish any side. 

Paul Nkata’s men have been on the upward trajectory since their last and only loss of the season to Ulinzi Stars. Since then, they have won five times and drawn twice. “Posta is a very tricky side but I am certain we can be able to contain them. We have been in good form and playing well and I expect us to pick maximum points,” Nkata told Sports News Arena.

KPL Weekend Fixtures

Saturday: Gor Mahia v Sony Sugar, City Stars v Sofapaka (Nyayo Stadium), Kakamega Homeboyz v Thika United, AFC Leopards v Ulinzi Stars (Mumias Complex), Western Stima v Bandari (Moi Kisumu) Sunday; Tusker FC v Posta Rangers, Mathare United v Muhoroni Youth (Nyayo Stadium).